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.
We encourage all of you to join other posters to discuss all of the cases we cover. If you read a post that upsets you just scroll past that comment http://community.rosespeaks.com/ I seldom step on the forums that belongs to the members, however, as I do have time I enjoy reading and participating in the discussion.
Visit our Download Section and pick up all of the documents related to any cases we follow; we put up papers throughout the trials, and then leave them up as part of the history of the cases we cover.
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.
Be sure to participate in our COMMUNITY , get the most out of the site by learning your way around in the community where you can discuss things about the cases in a debate area of the site.
My high school history teacher use to say that history can not be taught in a moral vacuum. The value system of a text book’s authors plays a part in what events are recorded and in what light. The same can be said of the teacher. Being born in North Carolina in the early 1950’s gave me a good example of this. The text books in the South never used the term Civil War: It was always referred to as the War between the States.
Recently, there has been a lot in news about the Texas Board of education’s curriculum changes. Apparently, the Board felt that the current text had a leftist bias and needed to move to the right. They have come under much criticism. Although I do not agree with all their changes, I do believe that the Tenth Amendment gives them the right to teach Texas children as Texans see fit. However, the value system through which we view history does not empower us to replace fact with fiction.
One report stated that teachers will refer to America as a Constitutional Republic instead of a Democratic Republic. Perhaps this was done to keep children from associating the term, Democratic Republic, with the Democratic and Republican Parties and thereby inferring that the Constitution is equal based on both liberal and conservative values. I do not know their reasoning behind this change; I only know it might lead to a dangerous misconception of our constitution.
Let us explore the meanings of each word and the implications of the two phrases. My 1967 edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language defines a Republic as a state or nation in which the supreme power rest in all the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives elected by them. There are much more recent definitions but this one seemed the most straight-forward to me. I encourage readers to research for themselves and reach their own conclusions. Constitutional means of or in accordance with the constitution of a government, society, etc. A constitution is the system of fundamental laws and principles of a government, state, society, etc or the document in which these are written down. Democratic is defined as of or for all the people. A democracy is a government by the people, either directly or through representatives. Also, it is defined as the acceptance and practice of the principle of equality of rights, opportunity and treatment.
So all that is required for a government to be considered a Constitution Republic is that it’s based on a system of laws that set forth who is entitled to vote and how the representative government is to be structured. Single party systems, in which only official party members are entitled to vote, qualify as Constitution Republics. Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s U.S.S.R., Communist China and Vietnam are examples of how far a government can be from that which our fore Fathers intended and still technically be Constitutional Republics.
By added a Bill of Rights and the additions of the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth and nineteenth amendments, the founding fathers and millions of Americans who followed have made the government set forth in the Constitution a Democratic-Republic. Though the term is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, it does appear in the writings of many of the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention (the Constitution Convention) when referring to our government.
Though no official title is given in the constitution to the type of government it has empowered, one can easily infer from the Constitution and its amendments that it is a Democratic-Republic. Like they saying goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.
@Thomas A Salley
June 14, 2010
Used with the permission of Thomas Salley – Political Op Ed Writer for Rose Speaks.com
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.
The expressions in this blog article are based on the opinions of our featured author, Thomas A. Salley, 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.