Friday reads

"Now his legacy will forever bear a Hasterisk," quips freelance journalist Ted Hesson, as former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on was just indicted on federal charges of reporting evasion and lying to the FBI (7,700 shares and rising). "DOJ says Former Speaker Hastert sought to illegally hide $3.5 million in payments to victim of 'prior misconduct'," BuzzFeed's John Stanton further explains. "Man, Individual A had the dirt on Hastert," reflects colleague Tom Gara. "Wow on this Hastert indictment. And what were the bad acts?" wonders Carrie Levine with the Center for Public Integrity. "If I'm reading between the lines correctly, this story could headed to a very dark place," predicts John Tabin with the American Spectator. Also, here is a creepy phone call Hastert once got on CSPAN. It might not end up being relevant, but it's definitely weird enough to feel important.

In other breaking news, the U.S. has removed Cuba from its state terrorism list, thereby paving the way for normal ties. "Get up to speed on Cuba fast," advises Bloomberg View's Anne Cronin. Elsewhere in politics, an award for Bill Clinton apparently came with a $500,000 donation to his foundation. "I wouldn't have thought you'd need to pay Bill Clinton $500K to go have dinner with a model," jokes journalist David Plotz. But Rand Paul has a money problem, too--albeit of a completely different variety. "Those close to kochs say @RandPaul's star has faded in their eyes after weak performance at conference they hosted," shares Alex Isenstadt at Politico. Meanwhile, this is how former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley decided to hint at his run for president. "I feel like strumming 'Hail to the Chief' before you run for president is like touching Stanley Cup before you win," argues Ali Weinberg with ABC News. Finally, remember the gay hotelier who hosted anti-gay marriage candidate Ted Cruz? Apparently he made a campaign donation, too. "Reisner wrote a max-out donation to Cruz around the dinner, then asked for it back after initial Times story," NYT's Maggie Haberman fills in the blanks.

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