Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Curious Blue
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Curious Blue » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:59 pm

OK, if there is a prize for bad behavior, John Edwards certainly deserves one..But I don't get the indictment. See [/break1]nytimes.com/2011/06/04/us/politics/04edwards.html?hp]http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/04/us/po ... ds.html?hp for summary.Apparently he is charged with some sort of campaign funds law violation because his friends Rachel Mellon & Fred Barron gave a shit load of money to Rielle Hunter, and that money was not reported as a campaign contribution, and of course was a lot more than the $2300 max contribution.But money to Rielle Hunter would not have been a legit campaign expense -- it's clearly a personal expense. So how is are payments made directly to a 3rd party for something that is clearly NOT campaign related, and could never have been a proper campaign expense, suddenly transformed into something that has to be reported to the FEC or is limited?I mean, if he HAD used campaign funds to pay Hunter, wouldn't that have been illegal? So if someone pays money to cover an expense for which campaign funds clearly can NOT be used, then how can that be deemed a reportable campaign contribution? Maybe I'm missing something -- which is why I am asking here -- but this seems to me to be a huge stretch.

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Litlebritdifrnt2
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Litlebritdifrnt2 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:05 pm

I was talking to my boss about this very thing this morning and he says that as much as a scumbag that Edwards was he does not believe that he broke the law. He does not see how having a third party pay off your mistress to keep things quiet is a "campaign contribution". Of course his explanation to me was much more colorful because that is just the way he is but the bottom line was Edwards did not break the law.

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Vice President Maru
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Vice President Maru » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:46 pm

Could there be some difference because she theoretically worked for the campaign? Just curious.

Curious Blue
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Curious Blue » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:52 pm

Could there be some difference because she theoretically worked for the campaign? Just curious.

I don't think that's what the indictment is about. She DID work for the campaign at some point early on as a videographer, and I don't know whether campaign funds were used to pay her. But I think the indictment is for payments made to her after she was pregnant, at least in theory to pay for medical & living expenses, albeit at a rate generous enough to deter her from disclosing the true facts of paternity.Here's a link to the full text of the indictment:[/break1]documentcloud.org/documents/111562-john-edwards-indictment.html]http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/ ... tment.html

poutine
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby poutine » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:54 pm

I haven't dug into this case but on the surface smell some problems with the prosecution, such as the ones highlighted by CB.I don't know what the false statements charge is about yet. But the feds completely screwed up their false statement prosecution of Barry Bonds (in my opinion; it's on appeal now), so their record isn't the sharpest on high profile prosecutions at the moment.

Curious Blue
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Curious Blue » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:15 pm

If you look at the indictment (link posted above), the false statements charge is because Edwards didn't tell his campaign committee about the money paid to Rielle. But he would only have to tell the campaign committee IF it were a money received for purpose of the campaign .... and again, I don't see how making payment to one's pregnant mistress is a campaign expense.

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Sterngard Friegen
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Sterngard Friegen » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:24 pm

The theory is that Bunny Mellon donated or gifted the money to protect Edwards' campaign. Thus, the Government contends they were related to the campaign. Bunny Mellon's correspondence and prior promise to pay for Edwards' $400 haircuts to protect him from the press and allow him to run successfully for the Presidency is the proof of the intent to aid the campaign.I think that if the Government can prove those facts they will get a conviction. I also think SCOTUS will reverse the conviction because if you define "campaign" too broadly it will make it harder for the plutocrats for whom most SCOTUS justices are handmaidens to donate money and buy campaigns. For example, under the Government's theory, I think Fox News may be in violation of campaign finance laws if Palin announces.

A Legal Lohengrin
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby A Legal Lohengrin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:35 pm

I was talking to my boss about this very thing this morning and he says that as much as a scumbag that Edwards was he does not believe that he broke the law. He does not see how having a third party pay off your mistress to keep things quiet is a "campaign contribution". Of course his explanation to me was much more colorful because that is just the way he is but the bottom line was Edwards did not break the law.

He'll have his opportunity to make that argument. Of course, if a corporation did it, it would be freedom of speech to do that.

Curious Blue
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Curious Blue » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:45 pm

The haircuts weren't a legit campaign expense either. As I recall, they were a personal expense that mistakenly was paid by the campaign, and Edwards picked up his own haircut bill after that. Whether or not Bunny Mellon actually paid for future haircuts- - I don't see how that could be deemed a campaign expenditure, given that the man would have to cut his hair from time to time whether or not he was running for President. Right after Obama got the nomination, I volunteered to help one day in a campaign office that was just setting up. I asked the organizer in charge if he had a wish list for materials, and he said that it would help if he had file folders and a file cabinet. I offered to buy some folders & file boxes (the cardboard kind, not steel cabinets) from office depot, and did -- but I also had to fill out an "in kind" contribution form, reflecting the value of my donated office supplies.Over the course of the campaign, I also often brought in food & beverages to various campaign offices: donuts, bagels, cookies, popcorn, pizza, bottled water, etc. No one ever asked for "in kind" contribution forms. Office supplies to be used for the campaign: contribution. Food for volunteers? No. As volunteers they were responsible for feeding themselves, and presumably they would have eaten whether or not I or others opted to bring in snacks. There's a difference between funding something that is a direct benefit to the campaign and something that is only an indirect benefit. It seems to me that the fact that payments continued after Edwards pulled out of the race would tend to support an inference that they were not campaign related.

A Legal Lohengrin
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby A Legal Lohengrin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:52 pm

The haircuts weren't a legit campaign expense either. As I recall, they were a personal expense that mistakenly was paid by the campaign, and Edwards picked up his own haircut bill after that. Whether or not Bunny Mellon actually paid for future haircuts- - I don't see how that could be deemed a campaign expenditure, given that the man would have to cut his hair from time to time whether or not he was running for President.

Should someone running for President have to get a bowl cut? I think someone running for President is likely to spend more on looking Presidential than someone who is not, and that is a legitimate campaign expense. Perhaps Edwards, being something of a fop, has less claim to such an expense, but I don't see it as wholly illegitimate. On the other issue of apparently getting donations to cover up the affair, it seems rather linked to the campaign. After all, if his personal scandal got out, it would nuke the campaign out of existence. If a third party was donating to keep the campaign from imploding with a scandal by providing funds to someone who also worked with the campaign, it seems to violate campaign finance laws to me, at least arguably. A jury might not buy it.If Edwards opts for a judge, though, I would suspect Britty is right. If Edwards can do anything well, it's play to a jury, so if he's guilty as hell, that will be his preferred option. If the law is actually strongly on his side, he would figure that out and prefer a judge.

poutine
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby poutine » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:03 am


poutine
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby poutine » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:03 am

[link]Definitions:,http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode02/usc_sec_02_00000431----000-.html[/link]

The term “contribution” includes—(i) [highlight]any gift[/highlight], subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money [highlight]or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office[/highlight]; or(ii) the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a political committee without charge for any purpose.

It seems that Edwards' strategy will have to be that he took $900,000 for the purpose of avoiding the detection of his wife, rather than for the purpose of influencing the election. Good luck with that, John.

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Highlands
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Edwards Indictment -- Legal Opinion?

Postby Highlands » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:55 am

From the [link]National Enquirer,http://www.nationalenquirer.com/exclusive-john-edwards-condemned-dead-wife-elizabeth-edwards-secret-video-testimony[/link] who did break the Edwards scandal, but take from it what you will.





IN a devastating act of ultimate revenge, a dying Elizabeth Ed­wards recorded a bombshell secret videotape for prosecutors – nailing her cheating husband John as he will stand trial on charges that could land him behind bars for 30 years.





That’s the stunning secret behind the federal indictment brought against the disgraced former presidential candi­date on June 3 – following a two-year grand jury investigation into whether he illegally used campaign funds to cover up his affair with his then-pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter.





“Elizabeth wanted to exact revenge against John for destroy­ing their 33-year marriage and family by cheating with Rielle,” source close to the scandal told ENQUIRER.





“It was Elizabeth’s idea to secret­ly record a video and tell what she knew of the affair and John’s horrific betrayal.”

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If you took out all of the blood vessels in your body and lined them up, you would be dead. #science


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