Skip to comments.Breaking: Former Presidential Candidate John Edwards Indicted by Federal Grand Jury
Posted on 06/03/2011 7:17:47 AM PDT by DCBryan1Edited on 06/03/2011 7:43:14 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
A federal grand jury has indicted two-time presidential candidate John Edwards in a campaign finance investigation.
The criminal charges filed Friday came after a two-year federal investigation into money used to cover up an extramarital affair during the 2008 presidential election.
Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, said in a statement through his attorney in 2009 that he was confident no funds from his campaign were used improperly.
But federal officials have said the hundreds of thousands of dollars two Edwards donors gave to help keep his mistress in hiding were contributions that should have been reported publicly by his campaign fund because they aided his bid for the Democratic White House nomination.
Man, when these guys fall, they fall hard.
It’s getting tougher and tougher to have faith in our leaders anymore. We’ve got the problem in both parties.
WRAL has it that a “warrant has been issued for his arrest”. This can’t mean that he’s heading for the lockup, can it? Isn’t this saying - we need you at the courthouse at such and such a time?
First shot in a mob war intended to put the Democrat Party firmly back in Clinton hands.
Barry will be having his meeting with the Godfather, sooner rather than later.
Who defended Sandy Berger’s “misdemeanor”?
So I bent a few rules ... so what!
I mean, can you stupid Freepers name a Rat politician who hasn't?
Raleigh, N.C. A federal grand jury has indicted two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on four counts of illegal campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy and one count of false statements.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and he is expected to appear in a Winston-Salem courtroom Friday afternoon.
The indictment follows a high-profile investigation that lasted more than two years into how Edwards' 2008 campaign covered up his affair with staffer Rielle Hunter, who later gave birth to his daughter.
Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, hasn't publicly discussed the investigation since releasing a statement through his attorney in 2009 in which he said he was confident no funds from his campaign were used improperly.
Although he considered a plea deal in the case, his Washington, D.C.-based attorney, Greg Craig, has asserted that Edwards didn't break any laws and that the government was chasing a misguided prosecution.
The federal investigation zeroed in on money from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a 100-year-old heiress to pharmaceutical and banking fortunes and a major donor to Edwards' campaign, and from wealthy Texas lawyer Fred Baron, who served as Edwards' campaign finance chairman.
Mellon gave $3.4 million in late 2007 to The Alliance for a New America, a nonprofit supporting Edwards' candidacy. Former Edwards aide Andrew Young wrote last year in his tell-all book, "The Politician," that Mellon also gave Edwards $700,000 as a gift for personal use.
Young told WRAL News in a 2010 interview that Mellon was in the dark about how her money campaign workers commonly referred to the checks she wrote as "Bunny money" was being used.
According to Young, Baron financed flights and paid $20,000 a month in rent on a California home for Hunter and Young's family during the period when Young pretended to be the father of Hunter's baby to protect Edwards from negative publicity.
Young also told WRAL News that Baron paid him $325,000 to finish his own home back in Chapel Hill so it could be sold when he moved to California.
Baron died from cancer in 2008, but his widow appeared before the federal grand jury in Raleigh in January. Investigators also interviewed Mellon twice at her estate in Virginia, and some of her family members testified before the grand jury in December.
Hunter, Young and other campaign insiders testified before the grand jury in 2009.
If Edwards goes to trial to fight the charges and loses, sentencing guidelines would factor in the money involved in the cover-up. A case involving $1 million to $2.5 million could signal a prison sentence of 51 to 63 months.
Edwards is expected to make a court appearance Friday afternoon in Winston Salem Middle District Courthouse.
She was shrewd enough to get herself knocked up by her very rich target and cash in. She hooked him and took him.
He'll be found dead of suicide before then. Want to take that bet?
I wonder how many others tried?
Ewwwww - that’s a very disturbing picture. One I sure didn’t need to see before breakfast. I’m going to have to wash my eyes out with acid to get rid of that one. ICK!
And that’s probably about how it really should be.
That's the difference between being in power and ticking off those who are in power.
Prosecutors say the money was essentially campaign spending intended to save the campaign by keeping Edwards’ affair with Hunter secret and thus an illegal use of campaign funds. They will point out that one donor, the late Fred Baron, was a key figure in Edwards’ national campaigns. The other donor was multimillionaire Rachel “Bunny” Mellon.
Edwards’ lawyers, on the other hand, say that the money was intended merely to conceal the affair from Edwards’ late wife, Elizabeth, and was not connected to the campaign. As such, they argue, the payments were not illegal.
Investigators have been curious about Edwards’ relationship with Mellon, whom Edwards courted for financing during his second failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 2008.
Mellon, who turned 100 last year, wrote sizable checks to further Edwards’ political interests in 2005 and 2006, as Edwards positioned himself to run for the White House a second time after settling for the second spot on the Democratic ticket in 2004.
Mellon, matriarch of the late industrialist Andrew Mellon’s family, contributed at least $3.48 million to a nonprofit group, The Alliance for a New America, that was created to further Edwards’ political aspirations. Another nonprofit group that helped fund Edwards’ campaign work isn’t required to disclose donors.
Baron, a former Dallas trial lawyer who was finance chairman for the Edwards campaign, said before he died that he provided financial support to Young and Hunter.