Two BigLaw partners writing on firm stationery are among four lawyers supporting Hastert
At least four lawyers have written letters supporting former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to evading currency reporting requirements in a hush-money case.
Among those supporting Hastert are former Mayer Brown chairman Tyrone Fahner and Blank Rome partner Frederick Lowther, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Both used law firm stationery.
Prosecutors allege Hastert sexually abused at least four boys while he was a high-school wrestling coach. He is accused of structuring bank withdrawals to pay hush money to one of the teens he sexually abused. Hastert is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.
Fahner said he has known Hastert for more than 30 years, and they are friends as well as political allies. Hastert served as House speaker “with decency, strength and honor,” Fahner wrote (PDF).
“Whatever conduct is alleged, I know Denny as a kind, strong, principled, unselfish man,” Fahner wrote. “I urge the court to permit him to live the rest of his life in freedom with his family and friends, and all of those who love and admire him. I wish to be counted among them.”
Lowther said he was instrumental in recruiting Hastert to his previous firm, Dickstein Shapiro, in 2008. Lowther wrote (PDF) that he worked with Hastert on a wide variety of matters, “and my respect for him grew every day.”
Lowther said he traveled with Hastert to Japan to offer assistance from U.S. companies in the aftermath of the nuclear power plant disaster. He also traveled with him to Lithuania to help the Baltic nations find solutions to their overdependence on Russia for energy supplies. In the U.S., Hastert called attention to regulatory issues slowing development of desalination plants in California, helped a minority business enterprise, and addressed the “sudden and unjustified detention of a U.S. citizen in China.”
“In all my years practicing law,” Lowther wrote, “I never met a person who could bring together and solve problems like he could.”
Also supporting Hastert were two lawyers, one of them a former wrestler and another a former student. The former student, David Richmond, said Hastert stopped him from being bullied by a wrestler, then encouraged him to go to law school. After graduation, Richmond worked for Hastert in Congress.
Fahner told the National Law Journal in a separate story (sub. req.) that he should not have used law firm stationery. Fahner said he dictated the letter to his secretary and signed it. “It should have been on personal stationery,” he said.
Lowther did not respond to the National Law Journal’s requests for comment.