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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:15 AM

John Edwards is a creep, not a criminal


By David Horsey

April 27, 2012, 5:00 a.m.
The more I read about John Edwards’ shenanigans during the 2008 presidential campaign, the more I’m convinced he is a mirror-gazing, fork-tongued, tramp-chasing weasel. But the more I read about the federal case against him, the more sure I am that he does not deserve to go to jail.

The trial to determine if Edwards broke campaign finance laws has begun and it promises to be as lurid and titillating as Ken Starr’s vivid account of President Clinton’s fling with Monica Lewinsky. Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, is likely to take the stand. Expect her to add juicy details about how she and Edwards conducted a trans-continental affair right under the noses of the candidate’s cancer-stricken wife and the entire national press corps.

Already, we have heard several days of testimony from former Edwards aide Andrew Young. Repeating the story he had already spilled in a tell-all book, Young told how he found rich donors to pony up more than $900,000 to pay for Rielle’s house, BMW and silence. Aiming to hit a big payday by loyally clinging to Edwards’ coattails, Young funneled the hush money through his own wife’s checking account while claiming it was he, not Edwards, who fathered Rielle’s baby.

Young’s sometimes shaky testimony was pounced upon by the Edwards defense team. They contend Young did much of the dirty work on his own and that a big chunk of the money went to pay for his $1.5-million house. Whatever the truth may be, one thing that appears reasonably clear is that Edwards and Young are both conniving creeps.

<snip>

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-john-edwards-20120426,0,5155519.story

48 replies, 3442 views

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Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply John Edwards is a creep, not a criminal (Original post)
cali Apr 2012 OP
lame54 Apr 2012 #1
RZM Apr 2012 #26
deutsey Apr 2012 #2
edhopper Apr 2012 #4
leveymg Apr 2012 #3
karynnj Apr 2012 #9
leveymg Apr 2012 #16
Little Star Apr 2012 #5
Bake Apr 2012 #14
Little Star Apr 2012 #17
kestrel91316 Apr 2012 #18
Little Star Apr 2012 #21
kestrel91316 Apr 2012 #29
Little Star Apr 2012 #31
marions ghost Apr 2012 #36
madokie Apr 2012 #6
HappyMe Apr 2012 #12
marions ghost Apr 2012 #37
madokie Apr 2012 #40
MoonRiver Apr 2012 #7
karynnj Apr 2012 #10
ProSense Apr 2012 #15
kestrel91316 Apr 2012 #19
karynnj Apr 2012 #20
Little Star Apr 2012 #22
loyalsister Apr 2012 #32
magical thyme Apr 2012 #43
dsc Apr 2012 #44
magical thyme Apr 2012 #8
karynnj Apr 2012 #13
magical thyme Apr 2012 #28
karynnj Apr 2012 #38
magical thyme Apr 2012 #42
loyalsister Apr 2012 #33
GodlessBiker Apr 2012 #11
undeterred Apr 2012 #23
Capt. Obvious Apr 2012 #24
cali Apr 2012 #27
Egalitariat Apr 2012 #25
Spazito Apr 2012 #30
Nye Bevan Apr 2012 #34
melm00se Apr 2012 #35
dsc Apr 2012 #45
melm00se Apr 2012 #47
dsc Apr 2012 #48
cr8tvlde Apr 2012 #39
eridani Apr 2012 #41
Festivito Apr 2012 #46

Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:26 AM

1. And this trial is a Republican wet dream

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Response to lame54 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:49 AM

26. Not really

 

He's been a discredited figure for years now. A trial of a Democrat in better standing with a political future still ahead of him would be a different story. But Edwards? Even his most loyal former supporters are not in his corner.

It's a sideshow that will have few if any political ramifications.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:34 AM

2. I would agree

even though the chattering class is going after him as if he were some kind of horrible criminal.

I loved his message, but never really liked or trusted him. I think he's being attacked the way he is not so much because of his sleazeball behavior but because of his message. Discredit the message through discrediting him.

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Response to deutsey (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:35 AM

4. Two words

to provide context for this ludicrous trial;

John Ensign.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:35 AM

3. Crime? Millions of dollars flow from foreign funders through US companies to buy politicians.

That's the real crime that this sort of sex scandal helps to coverup.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:03 AM

9. However, the idea that anyone could give a politician (directly or indirectly)

hundreds of thousands of dollars as "gifts" ends any concept of regulating campaign finances. I don't know if it is any better if it is the Koch brothers or foreign governments - both with their own agenda.

From some editorials, wanting this to be declared "not criminal" is exactly what the people wanting to end any regulation want. This is true even though there is nothing to suggest that Bunny Mellon wanted anything in return. As to Baron, he was the chair of Edwards' fund raising. Had he beaten death and Edwards had no scandal, it is not a long shot to imagine that he might have received a plum ambassadorship - just for that support of him and other Democrats. However, imagine the coverup worked and Edwards was given a position in Obama's administration. This would - for the rest of his life - be something that several people could blackmail him on to get favors or money.

It also means that ANY BFF of a future candidate could give him personally huge gifts. This would render the entire function of the FEC monitoring contributions an expensive charade - essentially creating paperwork to monitor small (even $2,300 is small relatively) legal contributions - while the big money flows freely. Citizens United was bad enough - this is actually worse.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:52 AM

16. One has to wonder how isolated Edwards' "blackmail potential" really is.

The use of foreign slush funds for political influence operations is an established fact, yet the US and UK political and justice systems are manifestly unequipped to deal with the problem. Look at how the BAE/Yamamah slush fund case has been virtually ignored. Fox News is the creature of the Saudis through their controlling interest in NewsCorp. Yet, nobody in the msm every mentions the fact.

When law enforcement is finally forced to do something because NewsCorp has been blatently turned into a political dirty tricks and illegal political intelligence collection agency, spying on everyone from pop stars to the Royal Family, Scotland Yard assigns all of 15 detectives. How many FBI Special Agents - not as many, likely. Contrast that with what DoJ has treated the Edwards case.

In 1982, when it came out that a Boy Prostitution ring was being run out of the Reagan-Bush White House. how many US newspapers covered that? One - The Wash Times, because Korean elites and ROK Intelligence had a beef with Bush. Talk about blackmail potential! But, that got snuffed quickly, literally.

At the same time that the Bush powdered nose wing of the Agency was making a fortune through the Mena connection as the crack epidemic was taking off, and China made its big play into the US market through the Stephens firm, who was being cultivated (and forever compromised) at the Governor's Mansion? Yes, more careers being made.

Corruption isn't even the word for it.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:37 AM

5. Maybe he's not a criminal but I'll wait until after the trial before I declare him innocent. n/t

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Response to Little Star (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:45 AM

14. There's a difference, of course, between "not guilty" and "innocent."

Just sayin'. The court will not declare him "innocent."



Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:08 AM

17. Your right. Sorry I used the wrong wording...

I do that often

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Response to Little Star (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:40 AM

18. The man is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

He need not prove it to anyone's satisfaction. It is the state which much prove his guilt.

We don't make special exceptions to this rule for leading Democratic politicians, or at least we SHOULDN'T.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:45 AM

21. I should have said....

I won't make up my mind on guilt or not guilty until the trial. And yes, we should presume innocence, I'm just not that perfect, lol. If I were on the jury that would be another matter.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:17 PM

29. Hey, we are all entitled to our opinions because in truth only the justice system must remain

impartial. But it would be nice if society as a whole could be that way.

I'm guilty of assuming RWers are always guilty of whatever they get accused of, so I shouldn't point any fingers.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:36 PM

31. me too, on assuming the RW is always guilty, lol!

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:10 PM

36. Justice system impartial?

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:45 AM

6. Personally I think he is a creepy criminal

The more I read about Edwards the more I'm appalled.

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Response to madokie (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:32 AM

12. I agree.

An appalling asshat.

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Response to madokie (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:15 PM

37. but the system

allows criminals to attain office and remain all the time...

So is he a criminal or just another politician?

In this country-- "politician" = excellent likelihood of sleeze factor

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:45 PM

40. So right you are

Johnie boy had me all excited after hearing him talk of two Americas. He was right, one for those of us who try to do what is right and those who could care less what is right. Methinks he is in the latter category.
Personally I think we shouldn't tolerate a criminal no matter what or who they are.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:52 AM

7. The case for the jury will be which pathological liar do you believe.

But I think the clincher will be if/when rich donor Mrs. Melon testifies she gave Edwards the money for his personal use. Assuming this happens the truth-o-meter will probably favor pathological liar Edwards. Weird times.

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:22 AM

10. Not sure about that

It looks like the Edwards team is trying to make Young the fall guy suggesting that he mastermined the entire effort to get money from Mellon and Edwards was unaware of it. If anything Mellon spoke of suggests that she personally spoke to Edwards on having given that money, it pulls him into the loop.

It really seems to me that Edwards may have set things up to make Young the fall guy. Edwards' fingers did not touch the money - yet it went through Young's wife's account. Edwards' team is now using Young's claiming paternity as proof that he is untrustworthy and a liar - yet it is pretty obvious that it was done with Edwards' knowledge - at minimum. Young is a creep, but it seems that he was willing to do anything to help Edwards - and it is pretty clear who had the upper hand in that relationship. (An interesting point is that there may be no one in the world close to him who Edwards did not betray in some way, except possibly his parents - Elizabeth and her children, Rielle, Young, and any Democrat who trusted in him or had anything to do with him. Thinking this, rather than sympathizing that he is so alone - I think he is very fortunate that Cate is standing with him, likely at enormous emotional cost to herself.)

It might come down to whether the campaign law anticipated that people could use the claim that they were giving a gift to the candidate. Given that politicians in office would be legally required to report such a gift, there is some likelihood that they did. Otherwise there is no limit on contributions. (ie either Koch brother could give Jim DeMint billions of dollars for a 2016 run by giving him a personal gift because they like him - and they could say that it is for his personal use. He could, of course, contribute an unlimited amount to his own campaign. Money laundering made easy! )

Like you, I don't believe a word that either man says unless there is independent proof.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:51 AM

15. The first thing

people need to do is stop pretending this is only happening because he's a Democrat or for political reasons.

If that's the case, were these political:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ensign_scandal

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Alaska_senator_Ted_Stevens_indicted_in_corruption_scandal

When it comes to campaign finances and corruption, a lot of people get pissed off because their personal funds were likely involved. There are likely a lot of Edwards supporters who are livid about the deception.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:41 AM

19. John Ensign was charged with a crime and tried?? News to me.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:42 AM

20. Very well stated

Saying it was just because he was a Democrat suggests that we, in some way, condone what he did and sounds whiny. He does not deserve our defending him.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:46 AM

22. +1

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

32. I agree

He took the risks of damaging his ability to carry his message not only himself but for the party generally. Leiberman was chosen because he spoke out against Clinton.
If we had had to try to rehabilitate the candidates or worse president's moral standing, we would have wound up with more leibermanesque Democratic leadership.
Where was his commitment, really?

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Response to karynnj (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:27 AM

43. now that Young has testified under oath

it seems weird to claim that Edwards is trying to "make Young the fall guy."

He admits that he went to Mellon and that the money went from his wife's account straight into their lavish home. Or is he still throwing himself under the bus to protect Edwards?

Seriously, Edwards may be a creep, but that does not make him a criminal and that does not mean he wasn't a target for grifters.

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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:22 AM

44. she isn't going to testify

she is 100 and infirm

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:02 AM

8. Agreed. And it leaves me wondering...

TPTB really, really hate this man to go to such lengths to destroy him. He already ruined any political potential with his creepy behavior. But TPTB aren't happy with that. They really hate him to be trying so hard to put him in behind bars while so many actual criminals walk free.

Hate is usually fear projected outward. What about him do they fear so much?

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:41 AM

13. It's not TPTB, it is something much more plebian

It might be that having a person who had personal reasons to dislike him in a position with jurisdiction has led to a borderline legal case. That isn't TPTB, it is a person - in about the position Edwards was in in 1998. While the trial is unprecedented, it is possible that the circumstances are unprecedented too. The closest counterpart is the Ensign case, but that is not closed and years behind this one as to time line. In addition, there it looks likes his dad tried to buy him out of trouble.

There have been past cases of accusations of parents contributing more to an election than allowed by giving their child money before an election. These have always been a far grayer area than contributions from people with no real personal connection - other than they are supporters.

I don't think the main motivation was hate - and certainly not fear, I think it was seen as a political opportunity. I would imagine that he intends to claim in his Senate campaign that he fought corruption at the highest level - and this case and the one against Easley are the capstones of that.

I also think this meme that TPTB "hated" him is ridiculous. They were the ones who favored him in the first place. He was a media and party favorite from 1998 and was quickly designated a serious candidate in both 2004 and 2008. It was TPTB that pressed Kerry to put him on the ticket - a gift Edwards trashed by being uncooperative.

I suspect the reason for his downfall being quicker and more severe than anyone else's is that the height he reached was all based on trusting him - as he never stood on his record. Getting people to trust him was possibly the biggest talent he had - and it was a huge asset when he was a lawyer and when he was a politician. Charisma and steady, wide open blues eyes won't work now that the trust that they previously engendered was betrayed. I suspect that the reason he is so alone is that there are few close to him he did not betray at a very very deep level.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:57 AM

28. I didn't mean democrats by TPTB

I meant the 0.1%er that pull everybody's strings.

But you are right; I only vaguely remember something about someone running for office who is using this to get their local street creds. Something along those lines....

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:28 PM

38. I was refering to the TPTB

If you want remember Edwards was invited to the Bilderberg conference. Edwards was quickly identified as a potential star --- much as Rubio is now on the other side. The idea that he struggled against the powerful to get where he is - is silly.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #38)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:22 AM

42. you wrote that he was "a party favorite"

which I interpreted to mean TPTB within the democratic party.

I have no prior knowledge that Edwards was invited to Bilderberg, therefore no memory of such. So thank you for that tidbit.

But you can go ahead and continue to call my suggestions "ridiculous" and "silly." That reflects more on you than me.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:59 PM

33. I think an Edwards presidency would have been great for R's

Two recent philandering Democratic presidencies- not to mention the legendary JFK? Perfect moral failings talking points for the Rs.

If they could put someone in the WH who would give them an opportunity to paint Democrats as creepy and criminal by proxy- wouldn't that go a long way towards their long term goals?


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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:27 AM

11. I'll wait to hear from more witnesses and maybe to see more documentary evidence.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:59 AM

23. He's at least a creep, maybe also a criminal.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:29 AM

24. Why can't he be both?

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:51 AM

27. He sure can be. I just posted this because I think it's

interesting.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:46 AM

25. Luckily for him, he'll get a jury to decide his fate

 

That wouldn't give me much comfort, but he's been on the record many times professing his faith in juries. So at least he should feel good about where he sits. That is, if he is just a creep. And not a criminal.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

30. "John Edwards is a creep, not a criminal"

I think he's both.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:02 PM

34. None of us are experts in the campaign finance laws.

He's indisputably a sleazy creep. And I'm happy to let the jury figure out if he is a criminal too.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

35. It's a NC tradition to play

fast and loose with campaign funds and bending the truth to avoid charges

John Edwards
Bev Perdue
Mike Easley
Meg Scott Phipps

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Response to melm00se (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:24 AM

45. note the party affiliation of each

and that of the federal attorney. I find the coincidence remarkable to say the least.

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Response to dsc (Reply #45)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 04:35 PM

47. not really

democrats have held the many state high level offices for a long time here..dirty is dirty regardless of party affiliation.

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Response to melm00se (Reply #47)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:17 PM

48. during his tenure we had

two GOP US Senators, several GOP Congressmen and women, several GOP mayors and remarkably he found fault with none of them only Democrats. Amazing.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:31 PM

39. There were no Super Pacs back in the day. n/t

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 05:05 AM

41. "Guilt and innocence turn on one question

: Was the money that Edwards used to keep Rielle Hunter in quiet comfort a campaign contribution? Edwards says no; the cash came as gifts from rich friends who wanted to help him deal with a private indiscretion. The feds say yes; the money was intended to cover up an affair that would have sunk Edwards’ campaign for the White House, thus making it a campaign donation.

Legal experts are split on this point. Even prominent advocates of campaign finance reform say the law is murky and the federal prosecutors are engaging in overkill. Past rulings by the Federal Elections Commission are a poor guide. In situations similar to the Edwards case, the FEC has ruled both ways.

One thing is sure: No one has been sent to jail for 30 years for doing what Edwards may have done. A big, fat fine may be justified, but demanding more than that for violating ever-shifting campaign finance rules is draconian."

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:25 PM

46. Ds get big news stories BEFORE trial, with hints they'll walk.

We're in the hint stage.

When he's found not guilty, the announcement will happen between two yucky stories of mayhem near the end of a broadcast hour.

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