Tag: John Edwards (page 2)

John Edwards Trial Postponed, Heart Surgery Next Month

John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition for which he will undergo surgery next month. His trial has been postponed until at least March 26.

The judge received information from two cardiologists who said "that a trial would "reduce the chance for success." In granting Edwards' request for a continuance, the judge stated there were "real and serious health issues."

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Judge Denies John Edwards' Motions to Dismiss Charges

A federal judge in the Middle District of North Carolina has denied several of John Edwards' motions to dismiss the criminal charges against him. The motions were argued yesterday and the Judge asked the parties to return this morning. Asked for a statement after the hearing, Edwards said:

"What's important now is that I now get my day in court, after all these years I finally get my day in court," Edwards said. "What I know with complete and absolute certainty is I did not violate any campaign laws."

Some of the motions, according to the Judge, need to be resolved by the Jury. She did express "uncertainty" about whether venue was appropriate for some of the charges and whether legally, John Edwards could aid and abet himself. Edwards had argued that he can't be both a principal and accessory at the same time. Attorney Abbe Lowell said: [More...]

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John Edwards Seeks Dismissal of Indictment, Alleges Prosecutorial Vindictiveness

Among the bevy of motions to dismiss filed by lawyers for John Edwards yesterday, the most interesting to the public should be the motion to dismiss for abuse of prosecutiorial discretion and prosecutorial vindictiveness.

Edwards says former U.S. Attorney George Holding, now running for Congress, investigated him searching for a crime, rather than investigating a crime and searching for the culprit. He says Holding was driven by prior animosity and conflict with Edwards and Holding's own political ambitions.

The brief supporting the motion is 32 pages, I've posted the Statement of Facts here and some of the allegations below.

The crux of the argument by Team Edwards (which now consists of Abbe Lowell, James P Clooney, III and Wade Smith -- Gregory Craig and Skadden Arps are no longer on the case) is : [More...]

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John Edwards Ordered to Return $2.6 Mil in Matching Campaign Funds

John Edwards can't seem to catch a break. Today, the FEC ordered his campaign to return $2.6 million in matching funds it had received after announcing he quit the 2004 presidential race.

The FEC determined that Edwards had received just over 2.1 million dollars in matching funds after the campaign was winding down and Edwards was no longer in the race. The commission decided that in total his campaign must pay back $2,278,315 in excess matching funds.

According to the FEC, "Presidential candidates receive federal government funds to pay for the valid expenses of their political campaigns in both the primary and general elections."

Sounds like Edwards had an inkling this would be the ruling. On June 30, 2011, the campaign had $2.6 million in cash-on-hand.

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Report: John Edwards Turned Down Plea to Three Misdemeanors

McClatchy reports on anonymously sourced accounts of the final plea negotiations between John Edwards and the Government. It's very detailed.

The essence: Edwards had a choice between a felony and the ability to argue for no jail time, or a plea to three misdemeanors and a six month sentence. If he took the latter, he couldn't argue for home detention or a halfway house instead of prison.

Because the misdemeanor deal would have precluded him from arguing for a non-jail sentence, he turned it down. The final negotiations lasted past Midnight on Thursday, and into Friday morning, just minutes before the grand jury returned the Indictment on Friday. [More...]

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Campaign Contribution or Gift: John Edwards Has the Better Hand

The charges in the John Edwards Indictment are all premised on the assumption that the monies from Fred Baron and Bunny Mellon that ended up financing Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young's excellent adventures were campaign contributions rather than gifts. If they weren't campaign contributions, there's no crime.

There's no case law on point. There are no prior federal prosecutions alleging a candidate mislabeled a campaign contribution as a gift, thereby violating federal election law.

What the Government told Edwards' attorneys and election law experts prior to the Indictment was that there was a FEC civil advisory opinion in 2000 (the Harvey opinion) that supported its position. Team Edwards responded that opinion was distinguishable from his situation, and pointed out another advisory opinion (the Moran opinion) in 2002, closer to his situation which concluded the donated money was not a campaign contribution. The Wall St. Journal has more here, and also check out election law expert Rick Hasen at Slate.

Neither opinion is directly on point in Edwards' case. Both are distinguishable. And newer FEC advisory opinions clearly state the opinions are not only advisory, but that they are not to be relied on in cases with distinguishable facts. [More...]

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John Edwards Arrives at Court

Update: Here is John Edwards' statement after his court appearance today.

John Edwards has arrived at the federal courthouse in North Carolina with his daughter Cate.

The unnamed staffer in the Indictment who claimed John Edwards knew of Fred Baron's payments to Rielle Hunter during the campaign is reportedly Wendy Button. She didn't include that detail in her article on helping draft the statement admitting paternity (which wasn't used.) [More...]

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John Edwards Indicted on Six Counts

The John Edwards Indictment has arrived. It contains six counts. You can read it here.

It's all about Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young, Fred Baron and Bunny Mellon. Nothing as I thought here about his PACS and other campaign related companies. The New York Times writes:

At issue are financial contributions that prosecutors say Mr. Edwards received in excess of federal limits, did not report properly and then misused for the political purpose of hiding his extramarital affair to save his candidacy. Mr. Edwards, 57, has maintained that he used the money to hide the affair, but for private purposes — to conceal it from his wife.


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Crunchtime for John Edwards

The media is abuzz with news that John Edwards' Washington attorney, Craig, flew to Raleigh last night. No one knows whether an Indictment was returned this week, whether the visit is for a final negotiating session with prosecutors, or whether Edwards has agreed to a plea deal and an Information will be filed tomorrow.

Nor does anyone seem to know what Edwards might be charged with, other than violating federal election laws pertaining to campaign contributions.

It seems to me the media is over-simplifying the case. It began as an investigation into whether John Edwards knew about the money Fred Baron gave Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young. The evidence has always been conflicting as to what John Edwards knew, if anything. Fred Baron, who funded Rielle and Andrew's excellent adventure and is now deceased, insisted John did not know. His widow and law partner, Lisa Blue, told the grand jury the same thing. And it's doubtful the Justice Department would bring such a high-profile federal prosecution based on the words of people with as much baggage as Andrew Young and his wife, or Rielle Hunter. [More..]

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John Edwards Lunches With Bunny Mellon

The media seems surprised that John Edwards had lunch yesterday with 100 year old heiress Bunny Mellon, who was a grand jury witness in his soon-to-be criminal case. Edwards' attorney says the visit was purely personal and they didn't discuss his legal situation.

First, there's no secrecy rule imposed on witnesses to a federal grand jury. The secrecy rule pertains to Government prosecutors and their agents. Second, it's not the first time Edwards visited Bunny Mellon since the probe started. He flew up to see her in December, 2009.

According to CBS News today, it ultimately may be quite important for Edwards to show he has had a continuing personal relationship with Bunny Mellon since his campaign ended. Here's why: [More...]

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John Edwards Lawyer: He Didn't Break the Law

John Edwards has added some heft to his legal team: former White House Counsel Gregory Craig. Craig released this statement today:

“John Edwards has done wrong in his life – and he knows it better than anyone but he did not break the law. The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is novel and untested. There is no civil or criminal precedent for such a prosecution. The government originally investigated allegations that Senator Edwards’ campaign’s funds were misused but continued its pursuit even after finding that not one penny from the Edwards campaign was involved.

The Justice Department has wasted millions of dollars and thousands of hours on a matter more appropriately a topic for the Federal Election Commission to consider, not a criminal court.”

Craig says Edwards is prepared to fight. My translation: If the Government offers a misdemeanor, there's still room to talk, particularly before the Indictment is returned. [More...]

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John Edwards Grand Jury Close to Wrapping Up

According to the news, things don't look good for John Edwards. The grand jury is winding down, and a decision is expected this week or next. I think the Grand Jury there meets on Thursdays, twice a month, but that could have changed.

Some say he'll either be indicted or have worked out a plea deal, but he won't get off scott-free. The likely charges, according to the anonymous sources: The money from Heiress Bunny Mellon, which he treated like a gift rather than a campaign contribution. [More...]

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