According to the source, the person who approached Watt was an intermediary for the family of the abuse victim and knew the North Carolina congressman informally. The source did not know what Watt, who now directs the Federal Housing Finance Agency, did with the information.
After The Huffington Post first reported the claims on Tuesday, Watt sent a statement saying that he had, in fact, heard about allegations against Hastert during the early days of his speakership. But he said the information did not appear either reliable or serious enough to prompt action.
“Over 15 years ago I heard an unseemly rumor from someone who, contrary to what has been reported, was not an intermediary or advocate for the alleged victim’s family,” read the statement. “It would not be the first nor last time that I, as a Member of Congress, would hear rumors or innuendoes about colleagues. I had no direct knowledge of any abuse by former Speaker Hastert and, therefore, took no action.”