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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:28 AM
Original message
John Edwards charges won't be dropped by judge
Source: Politico

John Edwards charges won't be dropped by judge

A judge has rejected a bid by former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) to have criminal campaign finance charges against him dismissed before his case goes to trial, the Associated Press and North Carolina news outlets reported Thursday.

After hearing arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys at a day-long hearing Wednesday in Greensboro, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles announced Thursday morning that she was denying all of Edwardss motions to dismiss the case, the AP reported.


However, Eagles said the two-time Democratic presidential candidate and 2004 vice presidential nominee was free to renew the motions later if he wished, the wire service said.

The decision means that unless a plea bargain deal is reached Edwards is likely to go to trial in January on charges that he accepted illegal campaign contributions and caused the filing of false campaign finance reports.




Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66994.html#ix...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Let's nail Edwards ass to the wall, but let Bushco off the hook.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 11:43 AM by No Elephants
Things I have read said the donor knew exactly what she was paying for and even filed a gift tax return.

I have no stomach whatever for what Edwards did to his wife and kids, including Riyelle's daughter, and what he might have done to the country if he had the nomination and his love child had been the October Surprise. However, this is ridiculous.
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msanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It doesn't matter what the donor thought she was getting. You can't give 725k to a campaign.
You can't. That would be illegal.
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Unless you are a CORPORATION!
Then everything is fucking wonderful.

Obama controls the Justice Department. He chooses to prosecute pot growers, whistle blowers, and Democratic politicians instead of war criminals and banksters. :wtf:
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Wrong. It is illegal for corporations to contribute to Presidential campaigns (nt)
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
48. they probably do
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. Riiiiiight.
Grant a pardon during an ongoing suit -- just because.

Swell idea. I'm sure that would go over real well.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. What part of gift tax return says campaign contribution?
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 02:04 PM by No Elephants
If she filed a gift tax return, she or her estate paid the taxes on the money and she clearly intended it as a gift.

If what I read is true, the worst thing that happened is that his campaign was used as "mere conduit," in that it took a gift that should have gone to some other account (a corporation he set up or his personal account, for example) and disbursed the funds. Maybe Edwards should reimburse the campaign for a small amount of bookkeeping services.

But the D of J has been pursuing this as though Edwards is a serial killer. It smells.

Oh, and of course it matters whether she knew what the money was going to be used for. Obtaining money by fraud or false pretenses is a crime in and of itself, not to mention tacky.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
27. The point is that it was for the benefit of allowing the campaign to continue
Mellon had absolutely no connection to Hunter. She gave the money to help Edwards. In fact, the story is that she gave the money so Edwards would not use campaign money on things like hair cuts that could embarrass the campaign. (This story never made sense to me as Edwards was a multimillionaire himself.) It was given to be a campaign slush fund.

In addition, it was said some of the checks had notations like "antiques" - so it was not as above board as writing a check with Rielle's name on it. Note that she could not give Edwards himself a check for a huge amount. Do you remember in 2004, how the other Democrats made an issue of Teresa Heinz Kerry giving more than the maximum to the campaign? The fact was it would have violated campaign law had Teresa given her husband a check for say $10 million - enabling him to then loan that to his campaign.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #27
37. No.The point is, we really don't know what it was for and don't seem to be able to wait for a trial
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 08:54 AM by No Elephants
before we throw "guilty" around. What is Democratic about that? As I said, I have no stomach for what Edwards did personally, but that is a totally separate issue. He is not on trial for adultery. As to election fraud, I am willing to wait for a trial on legal issues before I hurl stones at a Democrat, despite his personal conduct.


Mellon's intent is all that really matters. (The other donor, too, but I don't know anything about him.)

Mellon's lack of connection to Hunter is irrelevant. Obviously, she had a strong connection to Edwards.As I understand it, the defense is that Mellon made a personal gift to Edwards. The name on the check doesn't change that.

What if Edwards saif to her, I am so stressed. I have this woman and this baby, but I cannot acknowledge either one because Elizabeth is dying and I am running for President. It's making me ill. I don't know how much longer I can bear up. I can't use my money because Elizabeth would know. Heaven knows, I've been wrong, but I don't want to hurt her like that or hasten her death. Can you possibly help me?

If I were as loaded as Mellon and my friend came to me with that story and asked me to give his girlfriend--and the mother of his infant child--a home and furnishings (perhaps antiques), or whatever, I would do it and it would be in my mind a personal gift to my friend. Whether or not my gift allowed him to continue a political campaign would not be foremost, if relevant at all. I would be concerned for him, for his dying wife, for children watching their mother die and for my friend's infant child who had no other source of support.

As far as noting "antiques" on the check, do you know the money was NOT spent on antiques? More to the point, as to "straightforward," do you know beyond reasonable doubt that that Edwards instructed Mellon to make that notation on the check? That it was not her own idea of being discreet?

Or, even further removed, a mistake on the part of whomever did her checkwriting? (No very rich person I know personally does his or her own. All have bookkeepers, accountants or personal assistants do it--and the rich folks I know they're all healthy and relatively young, all having inherited their wealth. At most, they sign the check.)

Another point is, there does seem to be something going on with Edwards that is different from other alleged criminals.

Yes, Democrats did complain about Kerry and Heinz. (Did DU pile on Kerry, too? I was not here then.)

Yes, the DNC filed a complaint against McCain, also for using his wife's plane and other resources.

Are either of them being prosecuted? Were they even investigated vigorously?

In any event, there seems to be a zeal here that makes me wonder, especially from an administration that did not prosecute Buscho and could not even bring itself to write a damned LETTER to Yoo or Bybee's bar association.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #37
42. I know nothing that was not posted on DU
In addition, I do not know what will come out in the trial and I do not know the actual provisions of the campaign law are. As a result, I do not know if Edwards should be found innocent or guilty. I was simply responding to people who seemed to be ruling out that there was a violation.

By the way, I was not equating the McCains or especially the Kerrys to Edwards here. My point with the Kerrys was that Democrats complained about the POSSIBILITY that Teresa could give John huge amounts of money. The Kerrys took this seriously enough that she did not give him money - he mortgaged a house that he owned half of and it was his money he loaned to his campaign, admittedly knowing that he would not be homeless if things went wrong. You could add that Hillary Clinton loaned her campaign more than the amount of money that she earned - thus using Bill's money. No one complained in Hillary's case, there was nothing to complain about in Kerry's case, and I think the McCain case proved that - regardless of how it might have been written - assets of a married couple really were considered different.

I brought it up because it did seem there was an underlying understanding that unlimited gifts could not be given to a candidate - even by a legally wedded spouse.


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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. His lawyers are arguing the gifts were NOT to Edwards
(to No Elephants: I goggled and read a few articles because I thought your point that the lawyers were making the "gift" argument was an excellent one.)

But defense lawyers argue the payments were gifts from Edwards wealthy friends to others, not him, to help with a personal matter. They argue he was trying to hide his adulterous relationship from his wife and family.


http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20111... /

This is interesting and it might depend on whether - from the first $ spent - Mellon KNEW the money was given to Rielle. The comment I remember that she gave the first check to be used by JRE for things the campaign should not pay is vaguer than this - and seems a non campaign donation to JRE - as Mellon may have known nothing of Rielle at that point.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Too late to edit my prior post, but I am not even sure the campaign ever took in the money or
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 03:33 PM by No Elephants
disbursed it. I am just saying that, IF that happened, it would not alter the fact that the money was a gift to him.

His lawyer is saying the money was a personal gift to Edwards, so jumping to the conclusion that it was a campaign donation doe seem to be warranted at this time. Whether it was a personal gift or a campaign contribution will be the very crux of the trial.

Now, if what I read a while back about the gift tax return was untrue, then, of course, there's a bigger problem.

It would also depend on to whom or to what the checks were made.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. The reason is that a personal gift to Edwards would be a campaign donation
- otherwise there is NO limit on campaign donations. This would let rich people write million checks to their new best friend, candidate A, who is then allows to self finance to his/her heart's desire.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. A personal gift to a candidate is a campaign donation? Do you have a link for that?
If you're right, his lawyers, whom I am guessing he chose well, are malpracticing because their defense to this case is that it was a personal gift.

I don't often question your legal pronouncements, but accepting this one would require me to question his lawyers, who have just done the research on this issue.

So, if you have a link, I'd appreciate it.

Do people pay gift taxes on campaign contributions?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #35
40. No link - I am trying to understand this as that appears to be what the charges say
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 08:45 AM by karynnj
I have NO legal background at all - unless you count watching LA LAW years ago :)

As I've posted, I do not understand the rules here at all. I agree with you that people do not pay taxes on campaign contributions. I have seen contradictory things on whether she originally made it transparent that it was a gift - and who it was a gift to. There were reports that she falsified the memo portion writing things like "antiques". (one question might be when she paid gift taxes. If it was an amended return AFTER the investigation started, it could be that her people were trying to protect her.)

What I was commenting on was that IF unlimited gifts were allowed from anyone to a candidate, it really drives a truck through campaign finance laws. If people can give unlimited gifts to politicians, it seems that there is NO real campaign financing contribution limits. (This is why I used the 2004 example, that it was written often that Teresa could not give millions to her husband's campaign. In fact, there were comments that Teresa would have been unable to retroactively pay off the mortgage had Kerry lost without risking both of them being charged with campaign violations. If there were no gift limits, it would seem if Bunny Mellon, whose relationship with Edwards was that she saw him as a potential President, could give Edwards unlimited money, certainly a woman would be allowed to give unlimited money to her husband. That would make it the candidate's money and it is completely true that you can self finance.)

I would prefer that the case be quickly resolved and one recommendation by the judges be that campaign finance laws be made more comprehensible. I also don't know why the flagrant Christine O'Donnell person use of campaign funds haven't already led to an indictment for misuse of funds.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Beyond ridiculous. MLK, JFK... n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Not sure what you are saying. Did you miss the point of my subject line?
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 02:23 PM by No Elephants
Or do you think it beyond ridiculous that I don't like what he did to a dying wife, her children, who were watching their mother die at the time, and his mistress's child, whom he repeatedly denied publicly?

Or am I missing the point of your post?

As far as MLK and JFK, yes, I know they had affairs. What did that have to do with my post?
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. My point is humans make stupid mistakes, even 'good' ones. n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #29
36. I think I may have misunderstood your original response to me.
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 08:05 AM by No Elephants
I had forgotten my post said the prosecution seems ridiculous. I thought you were calling my post "beyond ridiculous," so I was ready to wrestle!

Message board misunderstandings!
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #36
47. No problem at all.
:hi: :)
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. Friend in NC says they're after his law license -- !!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #30
38. Does he practice law anymore? I know there is a disgrace factor there, as with Clinton
(who got his back) but, clearly, the prosecution itself disgraces him a lot more than losing his license would.

Not to mention, he did a pretty good job of disgracing himself.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #38
45. Probably mainly prestige -- but wasn't his background an anti-corporatist ....
based on a huge lawsuit he won?

Can't remember particulars at moment -- maybe someone else will jump in and

fill in gaps.

But, think elites will always see him as a populist threat -- !!


Or as the Third Way which now controls the Dem Party says of populism and populist

debate and discussions ... "it's the equivalent of Karl Rove propaganda of extremism!"*


:eyes:


* Jonathan Cowan, Pres. Third Way was on C-span two weeks ago and made clear that the

policy/stance of Third Way is that the "base of the party is to be ignored."





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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yawn. I am so OVER that man.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
5. As long as all candidates are subject to equal application of the law
that's fine with me. This might be a case where the money involved, the publicity, and the reason for the transaction have driven the prosecution. IIRC, Christine O'Donnell has publicly admitted using her campaign funds to augment her personal spending...I don't see the consistency of application here and I'm willing to bet there are many, many more cases where campaign funds have been diverted to personal use in a greater/lesser degree without the consequences that Edwards is faced with.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. +1. He's always been one of those who spoke about the poor and income inequality
I believe he was targeted by the PTB long ago for takedown. I agree, he was a complete fool and clearly committed a crime but the selective prosecution here on John Edwards smells badly.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. I am not sure it is so clear that he committed a crime.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 03:01 PM by No Elephants
Please see Replies 1 and 10.

If what I read was a bunch of lies, then, sure he committed a crime. But I don't think we know that.

BTW, when is McCain going to trial?

Didn't he use his wife's money and plane in his 2008 campaign without reporting same and still take public campaign funds?

The DNC filed a complaint about it with the FEC at the time.

Did anyone even bother to investigate the allegations of that complaint? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Holder? Anyone?

Something about the zeal of this prosecution smells.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
31. kr
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. Tom Delay was convicted and sentenced to prison (nt)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. There's a law against getting gifts from someone who filed a gift tax return and
paid gift taxes? (Allegedly)
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Dont call me Shirley Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. John Edwards was taken down because he dared speak of the Two Americas.
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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Yup, and they are keeping the pressure up
just in case they don't destroy him this first go around. He was speaking for the 99% back in 2006, but then who cares, let's just crucify him.

zalinda
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Yes, 'they' tricked him into impregnating that woman while his wife was dying, and then
forced him to spend campaign funds to cover-up the affair.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Karl Rove was a genius (nt)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. No one has yet proven he used campaign funds.
His defense is that the donors intended to, and did, make a gift to him, knowing what it would be used for.


And I have read Mellon at least had filed a gift tax return.


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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #22
34. That is apperently now for the jury to decide
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #34
39. Exactly one of my points. We don't know the evidence or the law, yet
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 08:58 AM by No Elephants
yet we are judging him guilty as charged before he is tried.

Please see Reply 37.

Now, he may well turn out to be guilty. I was not an Edwards supporter in 2004 or 2008, even before I heard about Ms. Hunter. And after that, I would not put much of anything past him. But, even at that, I think Democrats should at least wait for a trial.
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SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. Yup! And spoke against Corporate America. Can't have that, now can we?
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
32. Agree -- According to Dem Party/Third Way "populism or populist discussion ....
Edited on Fri Oct-28-11 12:16 AM by defendandprotect
is equivalent of Karl Rove propaganda of extremism" ---

and their policy/stance is that "the base of the party is to be ignored" --


See: Jonathan Cowan, Pres. Third Way -- C-span!!

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Spirochete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. Of course they won't...
after all, he's not a republican.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Yes. Because Tom Delay totally skated. (nt)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. McCain seems to have skated. O'Donnell, too. Palin, too.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #19
33. O'Donnell's not done yet

And Palin has been sentenced to life as Sarah Palin.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #33
43. Sarah Palin seems to enjoy being Sarah Palin very much. In any event, her "sentence"
had nothing to do with the D of J. With apologies to Lady GaGa, Palin was born this way.

Was McCain prosecuted? Even investigated? Palin? Kerry?

As for O'Donnell, now that you mention it, to be perfectly candid and honest, I have no idea if O'Donnell is finished or not. Do you?

"But because the violations have been corrected ODonnell hired a treasurer on Aug. 14 one expert believes ODonnell is unlikely to face any punishment from the FEC."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/odonn...

If your point is that this prosecution is just one of many where campaign laws are being applied evenly and disapassionately, I just don't see it. Do you, really?







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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. O'Donnell just filed a suit that may backfire in her

First off, I live in Delaware, and we are well aware of her remaining zombie horde downstate.

Not every thread has yet run its course with her.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #19
41. And Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Yoo, etc. ad infinitum
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liskddksil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
21. and FDR and JFK were not saints either personally...but politically and policy-wise
it's as different story.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. True, both were adulterers, FDR more in his heart than physically, but
what does that have to do with whether Edwards broke campaign laws?

He is not being tried for having an affair.

However, since you brought it up, I don't think anything that FDR or JFK did personally, while also wrong, came anywhere close to what Edwards did.

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between enjoying another woman's company while your wife is away, as in FDR's case, and serial conquests, as in JFK's case, and what Edwards did.
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