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John Edwards Defense Relies on Definition of (the word) 'The'
ABC News ^ | May 14, 2012 | James Hill and Beth Loyd

Posted on 05/14/2012 8:12:52 AM PDT by Zakeet

Not since Bill Clinton challenged the definition of "is" has so much hinged on a very short word.

John Edwards appears to basing much of his defense, which begins today in a North Carolina courtroom, on the legal interpretation of the word "the."

Edwards has listened to three weeks of testimony meant to prove that he violated federal campaign finance laws by using nearly $1million in donations to hide his mistress Rielle Hunter and her pregnancy during his bid for the 2008 presidential election and in the months after he dropped out -- but was still angling to be vice president or attorney general.

If convicted Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The statute governing illegal receipt of campaign contributions "means any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money... for the purpose of influencing any election for federal office."

The words "the purpose" suggests that in order for a conviction, the sole reason for the money would have to be to finance a presidential campaign.

Edwards' legal team has argued he did not know it might be illegal, did not intend to break the law and that his main reason for hiding Hunter was to keep her secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying of breast cancer.

Prosecutors, however, are arguing the law should be interpreted to mean "a purpose," meaning use of the donations does not have to be solely for a political campaign.

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: campaignfinance; corruption; edwards; johnedwards; silkpony; silkypony; trial

I'm an innocent hairball because I didn't know the definition of the word "the."

1 posted on 05/14/2012 8:13:00 AM PDT by Zakeet
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To: Zakeet

I’m an innocent hairball because I didn’t know the definition of the word “the.””””

BUT I STILL THINK I AM SMART ENOUGH TO BE YOUR PRESIDENT!!!!!


2 posted on 05/14/2012 8:16:53 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Zakeet

If I were a juror, and I heard the excuse being that the defendant didn’t understand the meaning of the word “The”; I would immediately support the maximum penalty I could possibly vote on.

This does nothing but insult the intelligence of the jury, the judge and the integrity of the court.


3 posted on 05/14/2012 8:20:08 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: Hodar

He is a dirtbag.

He better be glad I am not on that jury. I hope they find him guilty and he gets the maximum everything- maximum sentence, maximum fine and maximum security prison. I am sure when his lawyers walk into their homes each night, they head straight for the shower and wash with a toilet brush and straight bleach to get Johnny’s stench off of themselves.

I think the wonderful citizens of North Carolina are fed up and are ready to start treating the diseases that permeate their state.


4 posted on 05/14/2012 8:24:26 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Zakeet
Edwards' legal team has argued he did not know it might be illegal...

That might be the case if the Silky Pony wasn't a lawyer.

5 posted on 05/14/2012 8:28:06 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Zakeet

The Prosecution seems to be arguing the wrong issue — not whether ‘the’ means ‘a’.

They should be arguing that the intent of the money was to hide the mistress — because the revelation of that fact would be “... influencing any election for federal office.”

IIRC, during the campaign he was asked about having a mistress and he denied having one. Later, when the revelation did happen, and he could no longer deny the fact, he had to withdraw from his own presidential run.


6 posted on 05/14/2012 8:29:44 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Zakeet

Sorta like the definition of ‘is’, but I hope the outcome about ‘the’ isn’t a pass.


7 posted on 05/14/2012 8:34:45 AM PDT by winkadink (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell)
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To: Zakeet

“The” is 50% harder to defend than “is”.


8 posted on 05/14/2012 8:38:24 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Zakeet
He might as well let the Breck Girl Hair grow out, get a breast enlargement and have a “Your Name Here” tramp stamp tattooed on his lower back. He's gonna a need it. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.
9 posted on 05/14/2012 8:42:24 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Zakeet
I'm sorry, but forget about the "the" word.

This is it right here:

he did not know it might be illegal

Anybody who thinks that it's OK to use campaign contributions to hide his mistress deserves the slammer.

10 posted on 05/14/2012 8:43:57 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

“I hope they find him guilty and he gets the maximum everything- maximum sentence, maximum fine and maximum security prison.”

PLUS, pay back EVERY CENT to the physicians he ROBBED during his career as an ambulance chaser.


11 posted on 05/14/2012 8:44:28 AM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Zakeet

A lawyer who uses ignorance of the law as a defense? He needs the death penalty.


12 posted on 05/14/2012 8:58:04 AM PDT by The Brush
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To: ridesthemiles

I am glad Elizabeth Edwards divorced John Edwards before her death. That way she could set aside her half of the family wealth for her children. I betcha’ John Edwards doesn’t have much, if any, money left after supporting Rielle in the manner to which she feels entitled, and paying off lawyer.


13 posted on 05/14/2012 9:10:01 AM PDT by kiltie65 (ui)
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To: Izzy Dunne

I think one of the items of contention is that these were not campaign funds. These were funds specifically dedicated to the Hunter issue and paid directly by the donor (because they certainly knew you couldn’t pay it out of campaign coffers).

Edwards is obviously the worst kind of human being, but I think the prosecution here is misguided. They could certainly argue that the money was used to influence the election (the Hunter scandal would certainly have a detrimental impact on the campaign), but Edwards can legitimately argue that the purpose was to hide it from his wife.

Of course, the emotion surrounding the whole thing leaves me very skeptical of a proper outcome. I find the whole thing sordid but not offensive; I haven’t fallen into the “Saint Elizabeth Edwards” camp.


14 posted on 05/14/2012 9:16:13 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Zakeet
The protection of Edwards was a major nail in the coffin of the print media. Who could trust them now?

The MSM threw away credibility and jobs for the likes of a creep like Edwards?

Stupid. So stupid - so short sighted.

It's almost like they deserve their fate.

15 posted on 05/14/2012 9:16:42 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: Zakeet

This pig insults the intelligence of morons. I’m expecting the Democratic party to make saints of Clinton and Edwards- they so typify the mental and moral sleaziness of liberal thinking.
This scumbag used his wife’s illness( altho she allowed him to, and was just as politically sleazy as he was) lived like an alley cat and is now playing Semantics Sleazeball with the whole country.
I swear, he wants to pretend he’s a Kennedy- I just wish he’d end up as they did.


16 posted on 05/14/2012 9:18:43 AM PDT by ClearBlueSky (Whenever someone says it's not about Islam-it's about Islam. Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead!)
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To: GOPJ
The protection of Edwards was a major nail in the coffin of the print media. Who could trust them now?

The media is desperate for a conviction. If they could pull a Stalin and purge the guy from history, they would. Forget the embarrassment of being scooped by the National Enquirer. This guy was a few percentage points from the Vice Presidency. His rise was the perfect illustration of their failure.

17 posted on 05/14/2012 9:29:08 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Zakeet

You should have stuck with professionals. Oh, and don’t try renegotiate the fee after the product is delivered.


18 posted on 05/14/2012 9:31:59 AM PDT by Calamari (Pass enough laws and everyone is guilty of something.)
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To: Mr. Bird
Forget the embarrassment of being scooped by the National Enquirer.

They weren't 'scooped' by the National Enquirer - the print media knew and didn't go after the story intentionally. The MSM didn't cover it until the National Enquirer said they had a picture - which force their hands. I know this for a fact. I knew about the story before it broke in the Enquirer.

19 posted on 05/14/2012 9:49:59 AM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
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To: Fresh Wind
I am actually willing to give him the benefit of the doubt

the damn laws are so convoluted and impossible to understand that “ignorance of the law” MUST be an excuse now...

I remember my uncle quoting that to me when I was about 8, and it stuck with me ever since. I remember him thundering “ignorance of the law is no excuse!” as if it was profound statement of immense legal importance...

But the more I think about it, the more I wonder- Where is it written that you must obey laws you don't know about? Is “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” codified anywhere?

Or is it something they just repeated often enough until people believed it? It is impossible to know all the laws, especially these days.

And how can you be jailed for something you may not have known was illegal?

The democraps purposely wrote these laws so that they can be interpreted one way for when a democrap does it and another way when a Republican does it.

I despise the silky pony for getting rich on his malpractice suits against innocent doctors...

but I would hate to have ANYONE thrown in jail for this- public humiliation is quite a lot of punishment- jail time would not be...

20 posted on 05/14/2012 9:50:39 AM PDT by Mr. K (If Romney wins the primary, I am writing-in PALIN)
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To: GOPJ

Yep, the Enquirer merely forced their hands.


21 posted on 05/14/2012 9:51:00 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Zakeet

He obviously doesn’t know the definition of the word “marriage” either. But his friends are working on that.


22 posted on 05/14/2012 10:10:01 AM PDT by stayathomemom (Beware of kittens modifying your posts.)
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To: Zakeet

23 posted on 05/14/2012 10:13:03 AM PDT by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: Mr. K
Ignorance of the law is no excuse

This came mostly with the advent of of statutory strict liability crimes. For example, if somebody stuck a handgun in your bag and they caught you on an jetliner with it. You are guilty, whether you knew you had it on you or not.

The Edwards case shows that when you have a contentious legislative session, you often get an ambiguous law. That makes a horse race in a prosecution.

I can't say I have a handle on the issues in this case, but if Edwards has the prosecution backed into an argument that "the purpose" means "a purpose," the prosecution is on the run. Just my SWAG.

24 posted on 05/14/2012 10:43:04 AM PDT by frithguild (You can call me Snippy the Anti-Freeper)
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To: Zakeet

Well well well............here we go again. I’m amazed that these weasels keep trying to pull this “stuff” on juries. The conceit is an affront to decent people!


25 posted on 05/14/2012 10:56:25 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Zakeet

Next will come the “Chewbacca Defense.”


26 posted on 05/14/2012 10:59:08 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Zakeet

‘The’ is the proper general article; ‘a’ or ‘an’ would not be grammatically correct in the context quoted.

That means Edwards is wrong, because ‘the’ is not modified by S’sole’. “sole’ is used when the intent is to limit the referent of ‘the’ to ‘one, and only one’ specific item, case, or circumstance.

GUILTY! We know that; let’s hope the jury does.


27 posted on 05/14/2012 12:19:29 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: Zakeet

The guys a suzzball, but I have to agree, I think this trial is a joke, I haven’t seen anything reported that gave any impression the donors gave the money thinking it was directly for his campain and then misdirected to cover up his affair.

Government certainly hasn’t proven its case to me, at least not with what I have read.


28 posted on 05/14/2012 12:30:56 PM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Sunshine Sister

I recently read that even though his popularity rating was 3%, just after all of his child’s true paternity was revealed as well as his mistress, along with his cheating on his dying cancer stricken wife, he confided in a good friend that he still thought he could be appointed to be an AG or SCOTUS.

He just needs to be treated like a defective animal and put down so he can’t breed anymmore.


29 posted on 05/14/2012 1:27:02 PM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Zakeet; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

30 posted on 05/14/2012 1:33:10 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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