June 8, 2011, - 3:00 pm
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.
Tags: BS, campaign donors, campaign-finance reports, donors, FEC, Federal Election Commission, federal gift taxes, federal indictment of John Edwards, financial disclosures, flimsy, gift tax, Indicted, indictment, John Edwards, John Edwards indictment, Johnny Reid Edwards, kept woman, Lisa Jo Druck, mistress, no case, no crime, Presidential campaign, Rielle Hunter