What Does This Mysterious C-SPAN Call to Dennis Hastert Mean?

1 minute read

A C-SPAN caller’s mysterious question to Dennis Hastert last year has taken on a new meaning in light of recent allegations that the former House Speaker illegally paid $3.5 million in hush money to an unidentified resident of Yorkville.

The call was placed during a 2014 interview on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”

“Hello, Denny,” said the caller, who identified himself as Bruce. “Do you remember me from Yorkville?”

The caller then laughs and hangs up the phone, and the interview moves on without further comment. Footage of the call garnered newfound attention after a federal grand jury indicted Hastert on Thursday for allegedly paying an acquaintance in his hometown of Yorkville hush money over “prior misconduct.”

Photos: 6 Congressional Leaders Who Resigned Over Scandals

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay pauses to listen to a question as he talks to reporters as he leaves a lunch meeting on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 in Washington. A Texas appeals court tossed the criminal conviction of DeLay on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, saying there was insufficient evidence for a jury in 2010 to have found him guilty of illegally funneling money to Republican candidates. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tx.) stepped down from his post as House majority leader in 2005 when a Texas grand jury indicted him on a conspiracy charge in his management of campaign finances. His corruption conviction was overturned in October. Carolyn Kaster—AP
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Rep. Jim Wright speaking to press after meeting with President Reagan on Geneva arms talks. (Photo by Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
In 1989, Rep. Jim Wright (D-Texas) became the first House Speaker to resign over scandal. He abdicated his post after a yearlong ethics investigation found he had accepted improper gifts and mishandled his speaking profits, among other finance violations.Diana Walker—Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, : Incoming Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert Livingston (C), R-LA, speaks to the media late 17 December after a meeting of the House Republican leadership on the upcoming hearings on the impeachment of US President Bill Clinton. The House will begin the hearings 18 December. With Livingston are Rep. Tom DeLay (L), R-TX; Rep. Dick Armey (2nd L), R-TX; Rep. J.C. Watts (2nd R), R-OK; and Michael Forbes (R), R-NY. Woman (2nd L) and man (3rd R) are unidentified. AFP PHOTO/Paul RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) faced a sex scandal at the exact worst time: right as Republicans were calling for the impeachment of President Clinton. Livingston stepped down from the speakership in 1998 amid threats that details of his own affairs would be brought to light.Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 15: The Honorable Tony Coelho, Master of Ceremonies, makes a few remarks at the 2011 AAPD Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building on March 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Tony Coelho
Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.) was the third-ranking member of House Democratic leadership and resigned from Congress altogether as he faced a 1989 ethics probe into his personal finances.Paul Morigi—WireImage
Newly-elected U.S. Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott (R-MS) is pictured following secret voting for the new Senate Reblican leadership on Capitol Hill in Washington November 15, 2006. Lott resigned as House majority leader in 2002 during a controversy over remarks that were seen as racially insensitive. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES) - RTR1JD3F
Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott resigned as the Senate majority leader in 2002 after he made comments supporting the segregationist 1948 presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond. But Lott made a comeback five years later when he was elected minority whip. Jason Reed—Reuters
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MARCH 08: Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, speaks during the 41st annual Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center on March 8, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. The conference, a project of the American Conservative Union, brings together conservatives polticians, pundits and voters for three days of speeches and workshops. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was formally reprimanded by the House and forced to pay a $300,000 penalty for violating tax law and lying to the investigating panel. He didn’t resign over the scandal, but it weakened his support among his Republican base.T.J. Kirkpatrick—Getty Images

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com