Nightline Transcript of John Edwards Interview
I think it raises more questions than it answers.
Here's the video of Edwards initial denial of the affair.
Thoughts before we put this story to bed?
Update: According to Nightline, Sen. Barack Obama told them today he didn't think either Elizabeth or John Edwards would be attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Update: I have a new theory, outlined below. It's just my speculation and it has nothing to do with Edwards' morality or elections. It's about crime. I orignally put it in the comments but it's too long for a comment. Read it and let me know what you think?
Fred Baron, who paid the money, issued a statement to Nightline saying Edwards didn't know about the money he paid to Hunter and that the details of such payments would remain private between Baron, Hunter and the other individuals involved. (Meaning he wasn't going to tell Edwards.)
If this was an extortion attempt, and I now lean towards thinking it was, will the FBI be investigating? Are grand jury subpoenas to Baron and Hunter on the horizon? Have they already been issued?
Edwards said he got the call to meet with McGovern and Hunter that afternoon and he agreed only if McGovern was going to be present as well. He said the meeting request related to Hunter's difficulties. My translation: He knew they were going to ask for money. (This also would explain why he said there had been no resolution.)
Did Edwards call them on their threat by saying "fine, I'll tell the public" to end what would be a never-ending demand for money? Did he take it a step further and go to the FBI and report an extortion attempt? Is a grand jury now investigating? If so, could the Enquirer be under investigation for aiding and abetting extortion? Did the Enquirer pay for Hunter's rooms at the Beverly Hilton?
The affair itself is of no interest to me. This afternoon I was interested in the impact it could have had on the election had Edwards been the nominee or had Obama chosen him for the VP slot. I'm past that. Now my interest is in the possible criminal angle, and I'll repeat "possible." This is speculation on my part.
If John Edwards was being shaken down and decided not to be a victim, that would explain why he's going public now. He and his family shouldn't have to live under that kind of fear. No one should. If that's what happened, then I applaud him (and Elizabeth) for coming forward. They made the right call. The media frenzy will end soon and then they can get on with what really matters -- their efforts to reduce poverty and fix our health care system.
Was Edwards truthful with Nightline? As to what he answered, probably, but I think he's holding back. There's other stuff he's not telling.
Conclusion: For the Edwards to decide that publicly acknowledging John's dirty laundry was preferable to the alternative, the alternative had to be pretty bad -- maybe even criminal. If criminal, the Edwards are victims, not wrongdoers and the affair is no longer the important part of the story.
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