Disgraced Senator and Presidential “hopeful” John Edwards’ Federal Trial on six criminal counts related to nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy campaign donors that was used to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.
Nothing is simple in politics, is this trial politically motivated or did John Edwards commit campaign fraud?
No one is questioning that John Edwards received money from two donors, neither of which will testify, about the money or Edward’s mistress, Rielle Hunter.
First announcement before opening statements began with a WTF moment when U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said former Edwards aide Andrew Young called the three other witnesses in the last two weeks. Eagles ruled that lawyers for Edwards could mention the improper contact to jurors in opening arguments Monday, but barred them from using the term “witness tampering” or telling the jury that Young had a one-night stand with one of the other witnesses in 2007; a possible violation of federal law.
The Court seated 12 jurors and four alternates Monday morning. The panel is made up of nine men and seven women.
“It wasn’t just a marriage on the line,” prosecutor David Harbach said. “If the affair went public it would destroy his chance of becoming president, and he knew it. …He made a choice to break the law.”
Edwards’ defense team told the jury that most of the money at issue in the case went not to support Hunter, but was siphoned off by Young and his wife to build a $1.5 million “dream home” near Chapel Hill. Edwards’ lawyers contend the payments were gifts from friends intent on keeping the candidate’s wife from finding out about the affair. Elizabeth Edwards died in December 2010 after battling cancer.
A key issue will be whether Edwards knew about the payments made on his behalf by his national campaign finance chairman, the late Texas lawyer Fred Baron, and campaign donor Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a now-101-year-old heiress and socialite. Each had already given Edwards’ campaign the maximum $2,300 individual contribution allowed by federal law.
Abbe Lowell, the well-known Washington lawyer who is representing Edwards, has said that even had Edwards known about the secret payments, his actions wouldn’t amount to a crime under federal law. Lowell has said in court that the government’s case relies on flawed legal reasoning, that the grand jury process was tainted and that the Republican federal prosecutor who led the investigation was motivated by partisanship. Lowell has derided what he calls the government’s “crazy” interpretation of federal law whereby money that was never handled by the candidate nor deposited in a campaign account is being defined as campaign contributions.
Follow the money and the mistress is my initial take on this! Cate Edwards, John Edwards eldest child and an attorney herself has been with her father entering court every day.
I will do a short article every night and catch all of us on the trial and what has lead all of us to this.
Here are the documents from June 3, 2011 through September 6, 2011. I will load the rest of the September documents right after we get this up and then I will have the witness list and the exhibit list up tomorrow night. So we finally have a good trial with sex, alleged criminal actions to cover it up, and witnesses in trouble with the judge already. What a great start.
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Great article in POLITICO today. I am glad to know that what I have been telling friends and family privately was again right on as to how the political world is changes due to instant news, 24/7 infotainment passed as news, and blogs. I explain at the end of this article as to why I feel all of this is important.
The Huffington Post dispatched a reporter to Texas this summer to investigate rumors about Rick Perry’s personal life, hoping for an irresistible story about hypocrisy.
Enter L. Lin Wood Jr.
Retained by Perry’s gubernatorial campaign committee, the acclaimed libel lawyer fired off a letter to the website in August, threatening to sue if the story ran – an aggressive response even for a candidate whose aides later admitted they entered “Def Con 9” mode when long-circulating rumors began to swirl anew as Perry prepared to run for president.
The Huffington Post’s founder Arianna Huffington said recently the website didn’t spike the story because of Wood’s letter, but because there was “simply no there there.”
Still, Wood’s behind-the-scenes work for Perry – and his more public efforts last month to shoot down allegations of sexual impropriety leveled at former Perry rival Herman Cain — suggest there’s an appetite among high-profile campaigns for a more aggressive response to damaging stories. And though some Washington scandal veterans argue Wood’s confrontational approach— which blends litigation-style PR with legal threats and actual lawsuits — is better suited for Hollywood and supermarket tabloid stories, others predict the demand for those services will only expand as scandals increasingly dominate political coverage that spreads rapidly online.
“I’m not out looking for business,” Wood told POLITICO. “But I think that any candidate for public office would be well advised to have the benefit of an experienced opinion on whether a particular article or a particular accusation might rise to the level of being actionable defamation, because I’m afraid that the environment is such that this type of reporting is not going to get better. I’m afraid that it’s only going to get worse.”
Wood is also representing failed Senate candidate Jeff Greene, who lost a Democratic primary in Florida last year, and is suing newspapers over stories that linked him to a real estate scheme. In a letter sent in the heat of the campaign to the St. Petersburg Times, Wood called their story “journalistic fiction” and suggested he would file a lawsuit for “many millions of dollars unless the Times immediately corrects its libel” by retracting the story.
Wood’s past clients show his work had been mostly outside politics until recently. I predict with Wood going out on his own now in a boutique law office we might see him more on the political stage and it would be smart to hire him before the other guy does is my motto.
Wood’s past clients include Democratic Rep. Gary Condit, in the reporting of the death of intern Chandra Levy. Wood became the star Libel Litigator in the country when he made his reputation by helping exonerate Richard Jewell. Wood went on to represent clients in a host of high-profile cases, including the parents of JonBenét Ramsey, the young woman who accused basketball star Kobe Bryant of sexual assault and of course multiple lawsuits in the Anna Nicole Smith saga.
Ray Sullivan, a Perry spokesman, told POLITICO that the governor’s team decided to hire Wood in August when “we got wind that” Huffington Post — which he described dismissively as “a liberal web-based media outlet” — “seemed intent on quickly writing lies about the governor, and we were concerned about the speed at which those lies could be published online.” Sullivan characterization of the situation matches one outlined in more detail in an ebook by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, which explained that Perry’s aides were “distressed to learn that Jason Cherkis, a Huffington Post reporter, was in Austin prowling around on a story that had been gossiped about for years in the Texas capital: is Perry gay?”
The rumors included “a detailed story about a supposed assignation with a former [male] state official,” wrote Allen and Thomas.
Wood “authored one strongly worded letter to the media outlet, which never replied and never wrote the story,” Sullivan told POLITICO. Wood “did this one thing and that’s it. We never told him to stop and he’s not billing us now as far as I know. The purpose for which he has been retained is completed,” Sullivan said.
Arianna Huffington, president of The Huffington Post Media Group, told POLITICO that the decision not to run a story had nothing to do with the letter. “We looked at what we had; we realized that it was not a publishable story, and it was over,” she said. “The story was already killed before we got the letter from Lin Wood. I never even read the letter.” She added: “If we feel good about a story or stories, we run them, no matter what the legal threat. That’s not an issue. We have a great legal department and have no problem taking on legal challenges.”
Lin Wood’s work for Cain went differently. He began work more than a week after POLITICO first revealed that two women had received financial payouts after accusing Cain of sexual harassment. Additional accusations of harassment followed, as did an allegation from an Atlanta woman named Ginger White that she’d had a 13-year affair with Cain. L Lin Wood labeled all the allegations “lies,” urged women considering making additional allegations to “think twice” and wrote a letter to White’s lawyer asking for her phone records to “ascertain whether the decision to grant interviews was politically motivated and to determine whether she has received or [been] promised money for participating.” Wood also investigated the backgrounds of White and at least one supporter of another Cain accuser, and highlighted their financial problems, which he asserted the media had willfully ignored.
“What I find naive is the failure on the part of members of the media to be asking the tough questions of the accuser, someone who has obviously a troubled past, who has an incentive potentially financially to go out and to make these kinds of unfounded accusations,” Wood told Piers Morgan in an interview on CNN a few days after White went public about her alleged affair with Cain. “Why don’t you look at yourself, Piers, and the members of your media and recognize that you in fact and the media are participating in the deterioration of our political process?” In that interview if I remember correctly Wood never brought out the scandal consuming the U. K at the moment of illegal wire tapping which involves even Morgan’s previous employer.
Wood told POLITICO he has had “informal conversations or communications” with the lawyers for Sharon Bialek, who accused Cain of harassment, and White, “but there have been no formal demands made under applicable statutes at this point in time.”
Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said he “really enjoyed working with Mr. Wood,” who he said talked with “several individuals in leadership positions” on the campaign. But Gordon stressed that the lawyer worked for Cain personally and not the campaign, which would have been required to disclose payments to him.
Don’t be surprised if more defamation specialists like Wood get involved in politics, Richard Painter predicted, adding “accusations – and how to deal with them both in offense and defense – is an important part of the political game. This will be more common. It is most unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.”
Political lawyers serve their clients well by trying to block damaging stories from running and by seeking to stop the spread of those that do, said Trevor Potter, who was the top lawyer for [John] McCain’s presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008. “In my experience, it is not unusual to hire lawyers and to have them intervene with news media to essentially litigate a story in the hopes that it can be knocked down and proven unsubstantiated before it is printed,” said Potter. “And obviously, from the campaign standpoint, you don’t want to have an accuser out there doing a press tour day after day. On the other hand, if you can’t prove it’s false, that’s a political problem, not a legal problem.”
Wood told POLITICO that it’s not about politics for him, explaining “my representation of political figures in my career is not based on a political ideology.”
Though he worked on Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign (recalling he was “extremely disappointed … to learn that in fact he was a crook”) and contributed to the presidential campaigns of Republicans John McCain and George W. Bush and Democrats John Edwards and Barack Obama, Wood said “I don’t claim to be a political person.”
The principles driving his work do not “vary based on whether it’s a presidential campaign or a senate campaign or a state campaign or even a non-political attack on someone’s reputation,” said Wood, who in his late teens spent about a year covering high school football and basketball for his hometown newspaper, The Macon News. “I just happen to take the view that the rules should be the same for public figures, political candidates, and even private individuals, and that is a rule that goes back and insists upon fundamental principles of journalism being adhered to by the media.”
Ah you have to wonder if Bush would have been a one term president if John Kerry had been smart enough to hire Lin Wood BEFORE the swift boat ads took hold?
This is offense PR at it’s best, and as explained in Lin Wood’s own words he is not about political ideology. In today’s instant stories online in some cases without a scintilla of evidence I have long said we would not have had great presidents in the past like Franklin D. Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy. Wood sees where there is a need and will continue to fill that need in my opinion for years to come in the political arena. You can’t blame Wood’s belief in Nixon, I often say I voted for the guy both times and he broke my heart. Nixon is probably the single one reason I am a moderate independent that normally splits my vote today.
Be sure and read the whole story at POLITICO and the well documented links in the article that will give you a lot of background on Perry, Cain and Wood. Wonder how the democrat Jeff Greene’s litigation is going?
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Many of us who did not want it, at times in our lives, have been pushed into public for just a small amount of time. Elizabeth Edwards made a conscious decision to live her life, the joy, worried, crises, and journey of her life in a very public way.
She often talked of her son Wade, who died at the age of 16 and when asked about her children she still said “I have four children”, always in the present tense. She had a picture of Wade at her bedside when she died and will be buried next to Wade today.
She changed her last name when her husband, John Edwards, began his public journey in politics from Anania, her maiden name and the one she used to practice law, to Edwards.
In 2004 when first diagnosed with breast cancer instead of retreating she was very open and public choosing the most aggressive form of treatment as well as reaching out to women and often talked about not overlooking having mammograms. She talked about her putting off having some for years and that perhaps if she had not she would not have been battling breast cancer. She became a champion for others fighting cancer.
When the cancer returned in 2007, she again was open about it and talked about the difference in treatment in 2004 and 2007 and referred to it as a “chronic condition” that would require her to be on medication for the rest of her life. We only learned on Monday that the cancer had metabolized to her liver and she had went off of treatment and into hospice care at her home with her three children, siblings and estranged husband by her side.
Elizabeth Edwards shared who she was with us. Her worry over aging while her husband remained youthful looking; her battle to control her weight, her illness and champion of medical treatment for all of us and the woman who came into her life uninvited and unwanted as the mistress of her husband. She talked openly that there was a need for a DNA test because the child, Frances Quinn Hunter, deserved to know who her father was and to be supported by the father.
In January she decided to separate from her husband, put her home on the market for sale and to move on with her life, all of this she lived openly and answered questions about her life even when it must have been personally difficult for her.
It is said she spent this last year helping to prepare her children for the inevitable day of losing her, she did this with grace and courage and always doing what she felt was best for them. That included letting her estranged husband back at the end, she knew they would need him and so once again as she had done throughout their lives she thought what was best for them, perhaps not what she would have wanted for her, but what she felt her children needed. She asked her family and friends to never speak disparagingly about John Edwards because he was the father of their children and they needed him so much now.
She decided to live with and through all of this very publicly and women identified with her from the weight, to the aging, to a chronic illness to a husband who betrayed her at the most difficult time of her life; she always talked openly about her life..
She was an advocate and supporter on subjects such as universal health care, gay marriage and she was against the war in Iraq,.]
Her legacy is all of that and that she said “I fight change like we all do but in the end with each difficult time in my life I return to the perimeters of the reality and then decide with those perimeters how to proceed”..
I know I am a better person for following Elizabeth Edwards life and her lessons, and I have great respect for her as well as thankful of her legacy of how to face very human things head on. Elizabeth Edwards elected to have a very public funeral, keeping with the life choices she made along her journey.
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I was noticing the other day that Rose tagged some articles on Rosespeaks.com with names like Gary Condit, etc., I haven’t seen that name is a long time. I talked to her on the phone and asked her about the tags. She explained and I told her about my dealings with that scandal. Rose responded to my dealings with the Condit/Levy Scandal by saying, “Daniel, you do know a lot of people!” and then said,”And you seem to know a lot of the mistresses!” I retorted back to Rose, “If there’s Scandal, there’s Daniel!” LOL!
Back when the Condit/Levy scandal hit the press, you couldn’t get away from that story, it was everywhere! Although, it seems “politicals” like to have a little something on the side, if you know what I mean. Just look thru the history books: Look at Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and so on! So, I assumed that Gary Condit and Chandra Levy did have a liaison or something. And then to hear that Chandra was missing, and the tragic final details made me feel so sad for the family, and for Chandra.
I did not know that one day I would get a call from The National Enquirer to do a makeover on one of Gary’s mistresses, a woman named Susie Borges Rossi, that was coming forward to tell all to the tabloid. I was flown up to the Bay area and then driven to the location, somewhere in Stockton CA near Modesto, in a community of ranch style homes in a rustic, “country-fied” setting. The photo shoot that was to accompany the story took place at one of the homes. I can recall when arriving at the location thinking, “I am not in Beverly Hills anymore”, much like Dorothy said in the Wizard of OZ, but the other way around.
Susie answered the front door when I arrived: she was sporting a long, one length hair style, wearing glasses, no make up, and T-shirt and jeans. She did not look like a savvy mistress, more like a mom who had just finished working in the yard. Susie and I hit it off immediately, she and I got along very well. She was friendly but was quite nervous, as one would be with a tell all interview about to take place, a crew of strangers, and a new look on the horizon.
Well, I gave Susie a whole new look, you can see the new look in the NE story, the pic where she is sitting in the chair in a red blazer looking “politically correct”. All I remember was the NE telling me to “make her look sexy” but that was all the instruction I got. I usually do what I want, and I did just that! This was to be a “cover” story! Anyway, during the photo shoot, which was pretty fun, Susie was juggling doing one part photo shoot, with one part interview. The funny thing to me in these kinds of events is that everyone is very serious; on the set, etc…. reminds me of when I go into Anna Nicole Smith court hearing lately, no one talks to anyone; almost like being called into the principals office at school..
I was told that Gary had numerous girlfriends and was told their names, plus I was informed about the “fix it” team and their way of disposing of Gary’s body if, heaven forbid, he died during one of their, Gary and Susie’s, trysts. Also when I was doing her makeup, she would tell me some juicy details about Gary, and I was like “Whoa!” I remember Susie saying she was so sure Gary and his “fix it” team did something to Chandra. I remember Susie getting very passionate at telling her story, and somewhat a little angry, too. Lots and lots of details were unveiled during this conversation. When Susie told me of her dealings with Gary and how he gave her the phone number to the so called “fix it” team, it made my bones chill!
A funny thing that happened between me and Susie was when I was redoing her hair. Susie said only her sister had been doing her hair, and I was like, “Yeah, I can tell”. Susie was stuck in one look for so long and was scared to change. I told her to trust me, and with no mirror around, I did her new look in the laundry room (garage) of the house, very Beverly Hills, I know. We did it there because the rest of the house was crowded with photogs, lights, assistants, etc. This was the only place we could be quiet, plus the laundry sink was there too so I could wash her hair, plus the concrete floor was an easy cleanup!
I gave her a sassy new updated look, makeup, and clothes. FYI…the shirt she is wearing in the NE photo with the red blazer is actually my shirt..yes, the one I was wearing I gave to her last minute because I didn’t like the other shirts! A last minute decision. When one tells their story in these high profile scandals, you better look your best so the public will listen to you, just look at Paula Jones! Like I have said before, her makeover practically overshadowed her court case with Clinton.
The day the NE hit the stands was the day 911 happened, talk about bad timing for a story to hit the press. Susie’s story got “squashed” by the 911 disaster. Of course the magnitude of 911 would “squash” any story which would not be a shocker. If you note the date on the a href=”http://www.rosespeaks.com/images//images/Conduit-cover.jpg” target=”_blank”>cover, it says September 11, 2001. I actually recall that Gary and Chandra took a back seat , way in the back, when 911 happened. Susie did make a “blip” on the radar, but not the magnitude that we all were expecting, due to the bad timing.
After the shoot and interview were wrapped up, as I was leaving, Susie gave me a big hug and said she really loved meeting me, and I said the same to her. And we snapped a pic together, this was before digital camera days.
I remember sitting on the airplane waiting to go back to La LaLand, we were departing from Oakland, and the plane was being held up for a passenger. I was like, “let’s go already!”. At first when the late passenger and his “security” finally boarded, I thought it was Gary Condit…I was like “OMG” …but it was Gray Davis, former Governor of California. I was like, ” We had to wait for him?” LOL!
When I arrived back in LA, Susie sent me a very sweet email saying “Thanks” for all I did and that she loves her haircut! We are still in contact to this day, and she seems to be very happy presently.
Finally, for the details that I could tell you, that I know you’d love to hear. . .all I can say is. . . “BUY THE BOOK!” LOL!
The expressions in this article are based on the opinions of our feature writer, Daniel DiCriscio, This article is the sole property of Daniel DiCriscio and Rose Speaks unless otherwise stated. Please remember we are not lawyers and those opinions expressed here are each of our individual opinions and should not be taken as legal advice and/or legal opinions. The comments following this article are the opinions and sole property of the site members and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners.
Nazarian gave four red flags that all women whether celebrity are not that might want to take note of.
1. If you see your spouse change from boxers to briefs.
2. If your spouse changes from Old Spice to some expensive cologne (especially if you did not give it to him).
3. If your husband normally drives about ten miles a day and you see a sudden jump consistently to say thirty miles a day.
4. Cell phone bills if the calls go up from a few minutes to sixty minutes you might want to ask some questions.
John Nazarian’s Extra TV interview he gave some additional advice it is well worth a watch. Be sure to visit Desperate Exes.com for John J. Nazarian take on all things Hollywood.
I enjoyed it and immediately asked Ken; “what are you wearing tonight?”.
Nazarian does not talk about the John Edwards or his wife Elizabeth Edwards, Tiger Wood and Elin Nordegren or Jesse James and Sandra Bullock scandals that appear to be plaguing the infotainment news.
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The expressions in this blog article are based on the opinions of Rose Turner or our featured authors, please remember we are not lawyers and those opinions expressed here are each of our individual opinions and should not be taken as legal advice and/or legal opinions. The comments following this blog article are the opinions and sole property of the blog site members and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners.