Thursday, May 31, 2012

John Edwards Gets Off With A Mistrial


Yes, John Edwards is free as a bird.

The jury deliberated for 9 days, acquitted him of one charge and were unable to come to a decision on the other 5.

The case resolved around charges of whether he used campaign funds to hide his pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter while he was running for president.

The main question was not whether the funds involved, solicited from long time Edwards donors, were actually used for the purpose of funding the coverup, but whether Edwards knew they were being used for that purpose. In other words, as Hillary Clinton could tell you, the problem of proving intent, the best friend a scam artist armed with a law degree has.

Edwards acknowledged that in his post trial remarks:

"While I do not believe I did anything illegal, or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins."

Lessee..once she began showing, Hunter was first hidden out with loyal campaign  aide Andrew Young and his wife at a $2,700 a month rental home not far from the Edwards estate in Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Later, Edwards moved the trio to a $20,000-a-month beachfront manor in Santa Barbara, California, with the bills being paid for by one of his long time donors, Texas attorney Fred Baron.

Edward's attorneys would have you believe that Baron (who's now conveniently deceased) did this out of sheer love for Massah Edwards. It seems to have worked.

Another interesting point Edward's attorneys brought up was to insist that the motive had nothing to do with his presidential campaign, but was simply to keep his cancer stricken wife from finding out. Except, as was revealed at the trial, Elizabeth Edwards found out well before Edwards was busted by the National Enquirer in that Beverly Hills hotel, as far back as Dec. 30, 2006, the day Edwards officially announced his bid for president. She simply decided, for whatever reason,not to go public.

One of my sources who ought to know tells me that there was one rather forceful holdout on the jury who gradually got a couple of the others to come over to his side. If my source is correct, it appears that at least some members of the jury were gotten to, which is hardly surprising in this kind of case.

Even funnier, since the case involves campaign finance laws, it's up to the Obama Department of Justice whether to retry John Edwards, and apparently they're not going to. Well connected and prominent Democrat, probably hit up for a sizeable PAC donation to the Obama Campaign, badda bam badda bing..

Even worse, John Edwards isn't closing the door on a future run for office:

"I don't think God's through with me. I really believe he thinks there's still some good things I can do."

Yes, there really are two Americas.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to think that this verdict starts a conversation about how truly insane our campaign finance laws are. Skipping the standard disclaimer about what a piece of shit Edwards is, I simply can't for the life of me understand why Mellon's campaign donation is any worse than anonymous donations, super PACS, 'I approve this message', or any of the other million byzantine campaign finance laws that are on the books. WIth the laws this convoluted, how did the prosecutors ever think they were going to get a guilty verdict?

Rob said...

First of all, based on your comment you don't seem to understand the concept of 'intent'. It was not a question of proving that something illegal was done,it was a question of proving that Edwards knew about it and sanctioned it.

That's how Hillary Clinton got away with Whitewater. There was no question she prepared fraudulent legal documents..but because Susan McDougal and Wade Hubbel kept their mouths shut and did easy time for a few years, with the promise of a pardon and a little somethin' somethin' waiting for them at the end of it, the prosecution was unable to prove she knew the doc were fraudulent and what they were intended to be used for.

As for wondering how the prosecutors were going to get a guilty verdict, what makes you think they wanted one? This is a wealthy, prominent Democrat being 'prosecuted' by Obama's Department of Justice. Hello! Note that the two Edwards donors involved were never deposed or made to conveniently died, and the other, a 101-year-old heiress was never required to.

I'm also reasonably sure that a suitable donation to Obama's PAC from Edwards figured in here somewhere.It's how these people do business.

As far as campaign finance laws, the solution is not restricting people from donating, or putting artificial limits on donations (not to mention it's unconstitutional).

As we've seen, there are all kinds of ways to get around that, The Obama campaign's method of 'bundling' so that even house servants and minor children of wealthy Democrats can 'donate' the $2,300 maximum and their method of deliberately disabling the VISA verification software so that thousands of small donations under the $200 flag can slip in with phony names and addresses can 'donate' off of a few credit card accounts are two of them.

The key is restricting how much can be spent, limiting TV ads and limiting the length of campaigns, as the French do.

If you can only spend say, $200,000 in a senate race, for example, its nonsense to raise more than that, is there?