Former congressman Tom Davis (R-Va.) said he, like others who had served and worked with J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), was "shocked" at the federal indictment alleging that the former House speaker tried to hide $3.5 million in "hush money" to conceal sexual misconduct with a minor decades ago.

"A lot of things happened behind closed doors, [but] Denny Hastert never came close to the line," Davis, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2008, said on "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "You could've knocked me over with a feather."

A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted Hastert, 73, last week on charges of evading reporting requirements, and lying to the FBI, as he withdrew money as a payoff to cover up "prior misconduct."

News of the indictment shook Hastert's former colleagues and staff members. The no-drama Midwesterner ascended to speakership among the scandals of others and went on to become the longest-serving Republican in that post.

"Denny Hastert was the pillar of integrity. He was the guidepost, I think, for us. That's why he was selected" speaker, Davis said. "From everything I can tell, that's the way he conducted himself in office. But this isn't going to help the reputation of Congress or politicians in general, and certainly, Illinois has had its problems."

Hastert, who retired in 2007, has not appeared publicly or issued any statements since the news of his indictment.