June 8, 2011, - 3:00 pm

Sad to Say, John Edwards Indictment is Shaky, Fails to Show Crime

By Debbie Schlussel

As news broke over the past year or so that John Edwards was being investigated by the feds and a grand jury was convened, I figured that he probably illegally used campaign funds to finance the lifestyle and upkeep of his mistress, Rielle Hunter a/k/a Lisa Jo Druck.  When he was indicted, last week, I assumed they had copies of the checks or some other records of payment straight from his Presidential campaign committee to Hunter, a landlord, even a grocery store.  Something.  But, sad to say, there’s no such thing here.  I’ve read the federal indictment against Edwards, and as much as I loathe the guy, there’s absolutely no real crime identified in the indictment.

Sleazebags, But Not Criminals

Read the indictment against Johnny Reid Edwards, as I did.  The alleged “crime” they are accusing him of his having his friends pay off his mistress.  I’m not sure how that’s a crime.  Sleazy, yes.  But a crime, no.  Not even close.  If it were, there would be plenty of men–and, yes, women–going to jail for maintaining kept men and women, either extramarital or otherwise.

What’s really ridiculous is that the feds claim that because two multi-millionaire donors to the Edwards campaign (one of whom is now dead and the other of whom is 100 years old) also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay the expenses of Hunter, this was somehow a campaign expense and was illegal because it was not reported on campaign financial disclosures to the Federal Election Commission and because it was  above and beyond campaign finance limits.  Sorry, but that’s BS.  It wasn’t a campaign expense.  It was an Edwards hush-my-babymama/mistress expense.  Yes, keeping Hunter quiet was in the best interests of his Presidential campaign, but it doesn’t make the money a campaign contribution.  The feds are incorrectly claiming that it does.  That’s grasping at straws.  So long as the donors paid gift taxes to the feds, they’re covered.  And if they didn’t, they are the criminals, not Edwards. And if we’re gonna indict John Edwards for making sure his mistress is paid off, then I can’t wait for the indictment of Arnold Schwarzenegger. By the logic of the Edwards indictment, his payments and gifts to his maid/paramour/babymama, Mildred Baena, were a campaign expense in his run for Governor, and he should have reported them in his financial disclosures to the State of California.

There’s no “criminal conspiracy” as alleged by the indictment.  If only the feds would go after REAL criminal conspiracies to finance and materially support Islamic terrorists, with as much gusto and as many FBI agents and Justice Department lawyers.  But they don’t grab the headlines of a John Edwards indictment.  And it’s more important to save the country from John Edwards’ friends paying off  his mistress, than save the country from threats to ourselves and Western allies.  And to be politically correct about it, why would we pick on poor innocent Muslims who merely want to blow up a few legs and brains for fun, when we can look into the perfectly legal payments a dead man and a 100 year old woman made to John Edwards’ concubine?  Glad to know Obama’s Justice Department has its priorities straight.

Moreover, the indictment quotes at length from a John Edwards interview with ABC News in which he lies about the illegitimate kid he had and about his relationship with Hunter.  Sorry, but lying to ABC News ain’t a crime.  If it were, again, there would be a lot of people in federal prison, including that lady who recently punked “Good Morning America” into believing that she injected her young child with botox.  And Bill Clinton would go to jail for telling the press that he “did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky” (depending on whether a grand jury buys into the Clintonian definition of sex).  And maybe the late Peter Jennings would have been put behind bars for constantly lying on ABC News to his viewers.  But we don’t put people in jail for that–for lying to liars in the media.  That’s not a crime, and we shouldn’t even be convening federal grand juries to consider the matter.  If you lie to federal agents, well, that’s a different story.  And it’s a crime in and of itself.  But there’s no such accusation here.

I’m no fan of John Edwards.  Always thought he was a sleazy, slick, blood-sucking trial lawyer charlatan and typical limousine liberal fraud.  But my views–and yours–about Edwards aren’t relevant here.  Whether or not he broke a single law is what’s relevant.  And having your friends pay to keep your mistress because you don’t want  your wife to see any records of it coming from your own bank accounts and credit cards–it may be wrong, but it’s not illegal.  And that’s the accusation in the indictment.

Given all this, I’m really surprised that John Edwards tried to get a plea bargain on this.  There’s no crime here.  I guess the thinking is that juries are stupid–and they must be, because they gave him gazillions in verdicts, including when he play-acted as a fetus.  Edwards must think that juries so dumb that they made him a multi-millionaire might be dumb enough to convict a man for cheating on his wife and paying off his mistress.

And maybe that’s correct thinking.  After all, a jury acquitted O.J. Simpson of murder, and another equally intellectually-challenged jury convicted Scooter Libby for NOT being the source of the Valerie Plame CIA leak.

But if justice prevails, the sleazy John Edwards will skate on this flimsy, fraudulent indictment.  He’s lucky, because he’s a rich man who can afford to fight the clumsily-fertilized federal criminal charges here.

Imagine, though, if it were you, and–odds are–you are less well-appointed financially.  But Obama’s feds decide they are going after you anyway, perhaps for the easy headlines and scorn of the less-sophisticated who are unable to think critically.

That’s the real problem here.  It’s not about John Edwards.  It’s that anyone else could be indicted on the same phony non-crime alleged here.

Whoever said “justice is blind,” forgot the part about how in America, it’s often deaf, dumb, stupid, and dishonest, too.

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17 Responses

“why would we pick on poor innocent Muslims who merely want to blow up a few legs and brains for fun, when we can look into the perfectly legal payments a dead man and a 100 year old woman made to John Edwards’ concubine? Glad to know Obama’s Justice Department has its priorities straight.”

Yep. The a snapshot of the horrifying and macabre world of a post-racial Obamerica!

DS_ROCKS! on June 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm

It’s never a good idea to test a theory in a high profile trial. But, we taxpayers are fronting the cost…so win or lose, money’s no object.

What I found funny was Edwards’ workin’ over Bunny Mellon for $50 million dollars and the use of her private jet aircraft to ‘battle poverty’. Whatta scammin’ piece of fecal matter Edwards is.

P. Aaron on June 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Debbie this is why this quality site is becoming a new favorite with me. Advocacy but in pursuit of the truth. You could have hammered Edwards pretty much gratuitously and few would have cared, but instead have the professsional self discipline to point out the prosecution has a shoddy case that should fail for lack of legal merits. Edwards being a trial attorney will pounce, position and prevail. But I don’t think he’ll ever be President.

cactusjack on June 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm

In other words, it boils down to whether he was metaphorically Jim Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart. The former did time in the slammer for procuring a “lady of the evening” and then paying her to shut up with money taken from the church’s till. The latter also visited a concubine, but at least had the scruples to pay for her “services” with his own money, thus avoiding jail time. Both of them, however, wound up with no careers afterwards, which John Edwards can also expect. Now if only there were some way of also destroying the career of that idiot with the same name who claims to be a psychic.

Irving on June 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Actually, Debbie, this is akin to the whole Ensign scandal that is going to result in indictments. When payoffs are made by third-parties to benefit the electoral prospects of officeholders/candidates by silencing a scandal, you have an illegal campaign donation.

RWR: Huh? There’s no such law or statute bearing your absurd definition, which matches that of the Obamaniks. Our laws don’t consist of your or other’s opinions of what is “akin” to something. It’s what the law actually says. That’s exactly the point of this piece, which you apparently missed. See, that’s the problem with conservatives who behave based on personalities and not principles. It’s a conservative principle to define and read laws as they are written and not stretch them to these silly propositions that have no basis in law. That’s what we conservatives are supposed to be against judges and prosecutors doing.

Sadly, you’ve demonstrated how you’re all too willing to go with liberal-style, expanded interpretations of law that simply don’t exist anywhere in the actually statutes and regulations. Oh, and BTW, ensign was not going to be prosecuted, but with this, there’s now pressure to indict him. Doubt it will happen though. His parents paid off a mistress. That’s NOT a campaign contribution. Sorry. Sure wouldn’t want you as a judge or prosecutor because you are basically a liberal–not an originalist–in either of those jobs. DS

Rhymes With Right on June 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm

It used to make me sick to listen to people say they planned to vote for him because he was “such a good Christian man”, before the revelation of his infidelities of course. The most sickening part was that I would hear it from fellow Christians, usually middle-age women who didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain. I’ll bet these were the type of women that Edwards would do everything he could to be chosen as jurors in the trials he argued that cost insurers untold millions of dollars.

CornCoLeo on June 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I defer to DS on ALL legal and Islamic matters. She just knows her stuff better than most.

That being said, I am annoyed to learn this. Edwards is a disgusting sleezegrinder. I have never seen such a transparently oleaginous shyster…yet so many fell for his fraudulent schtick. I remember when The Enquirer started ever so slowly to reveal the affair…yet NO ONE paid attention to it. It was so frustrating. I believed it 100% and the truth finally emerged YEARS later.

I never thought his wife was a good person either and I resented how the media portrayed her. That day he said he was still gonna run for Prez when her cancer came back made me wanna barf. Anyone paying attention should have known he cared more about HIMSELF than his cancer-stricken wife. “Rielle Hunter” proved that compltely in the end.

“Game Change” got into the sleaziness of the Edwards campaign as did sleazy Andrew Young’s tome “The Politician”…which openly talked about all the $$ they got from Bunny Mellon. Boy, how sad to be dumb, rich and a Democrat!

I wish Edwards the WORST and will delight in his public humiliation. I hate that fraud like poison.

(On “Weinergate”…wasn’t Breitbart NOT gonna release the X photo? I equally hate Weiner BUT his public humiliation was complete…and I am very angry if that arrogant Breitbart released it after he said he WASN’T GOING TO!

Sometimes when DS states on this blog who really isn’t a “good guy” it is sometimes hard to want to believe BUT I wanna say that I take them ALL very, very seriously. DS is frighteningly CORRECT when she will talk frankly about a so-called Conservative sacred cow. Breitbart is doing a good job himself proving DS’ opinion as FACT. Don’t dismiss her easily…wait and the truth somes shining through.)

Skunky on June 9, 2011 at 12:17 am

I agree with Debbie.

There is no crime here. Sure, John Edwards is a low-life scumbag but having an extra-marital affair isn’t a crime.

Its a sin and that’s between him and God and isn’t for federal prosecutors to decide – or for for that matter a jury.

If the Obamamoids in the Justice Department haven’t grasped it yet, I’ll spell it out for them:

“Its The Sex, Stupid.” They’re wasting taxpayer money on a case they’ll surely lose.

I am no fan of Edwards but he is in the clear here. Leave him alone!

NormanF on June 9, 2011 at 12:44 am

I agree that this is flimsy because there is no obvious proof that Edwards knew about it. But I have a problem with characterizing the hush money as a gift. If donations in excess of the federal limits can just be characterized as personal gifts, then the limits mean nothing and everything is a gift.

fred on June 9, 2011 at 9:15 am

Agreed that the Feds have no case against Edwards. But then the next question is why was he charged and which higher up had it in for Edwards? These federal cases don’t come up out of nowheres. So what is the real story here?

Jerry on June 9, 2011 at 9:24 am

The correct nomenclature for the Edwards case is “Distraction”…

Shootist on June 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

Show trial.

Everybody goes away happy after the shouting is over. Move along citizen, nothing to see here.

(but if it has been me or you, we’d be UNDER the jail)

Jack on June 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I don’t see the crime either. Someone may have some tax issues, but not Edwards. I think a case can be made the contributor expected political favors, but that is not what was charged and may not be even true.

pat on June 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Rielle Parker Bowles?

Malibu on June 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm

One of the reasons Debbie is wonderful is because she is fairminded. This is one of many proofs.

Occam's Tool on June 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Anybody who cheats on their spouse is a selfish coward. Too cowardly to allow their spouse to date other people too. In my opinion, John Edwards is a coward.

Truth on June 10, 2011 at 9:06 am

Lisa Jo (Parker-Bowles)……everything is perfectly wrong with everything. Very much a coward…

#1 Vato on June 12, 2011 at 10:33 am

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