Edwards Grand Jury Hears From Fred Baron's Widow

The grand jury investigation into John Edwards continues. Today, the grand jury heard from Lisa Blue Baron, the widow of Edwards' campaign finance chair Fred Baron. Blue was accompanied by her Washington attorney, Abbe Lowell. Where does Ms. Blue fit in the picture?

Reportedly, the grand jury is investigating whether Edwards' campaign funds were improperly diverted to Rielle Hunter. Fred Baron said the money he gave Hunter was personal money, not campaign related, and that Edwards didn't know about it at the time. According to Andrew Young (whose credibility is zero in my book) Lisa Blue was assigned the task of comforting Hunter on the phone during the time period he was tasked with babysitting her and pretending to be the baby's father.

Rielle Hunter, in her GQ interviewed said:[More...]

And in May '08, Fred and Lisa [Blue, his wife] came to visit me in Santa Barbara and to meet Quinn

Quinn was born in February, 2008, and Fred Baron died of cancer on October 31, 2008. Lisa Blue, an attorney, worked as Baron's partner in their firm, Baron and Blue. Baron said he didn't learn Edwards was having an affair with Rielle until a few weeks before Edwards' announcement in August, 2008.

Baron says that in late 2007 he helped Hunter, former Edwards campaign worker Andrew Young, Young's wife and the Youngs' three children relocate to California from North Carolina, because they were being hounded by tabloid reporters and paparazzi. "It was just a horrible, horrible situation," Baron says. "I paid for them to relocate to another home in another state."

Baron says he paid for several months of rent on a house in Santa Barbara, Calif., out of his own pocket and didn't inform Edwards. "I never discussed it with John. He was on the campaign trail in Iowa at the time," Baron says.

Baron said neither Young nor Hunter were employed by the campaign during the period he supported them.

Back to Lisa Blue: The marital communications privilege survives the death of the spouse, so it's doubtful she would answer questions about what she and Fred Baron discussed. What else could she offer that's relevant to the investigation?

Blue's attorney, Abbe Lowell, who represented Fred Baron in other matters, said a year ago:

"Fred, on his own and without discussing it with anyone else, provided financial help to Andrew Young and Rielle Hunter when they were being besieged by the media to try to help them protect their and their families' privacy. In addition, Mr. Young and Ms. Hunter both asked him for additional help. Over the course of his life, he had done the same for countless other people. It would be awful if anyone who was a willing beneficiary of Fred's generosity and friendship was now so ungrateful that he or she tried to mischaracterize what happened, blame Fred for their decisions, and especially try to put words in Fred's mouth now that he has passed on and cannot speak for himself."

The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh, George Holding, is a Bush holdover. Even though President Obama nominated Thomas Walker to replace him a year ago, North Carolina's senators have put a hold on the nomination, wanting Holding to stay in the position until the Edwards investigation is over.

Is there really a case against Edwards? Or is the U.S. Attorney just dragging it out, trying to prolong his tenure?

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  • Display: Sort:
    Would be better if the Ms. Baron's (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 12:25:02 AM EST
    attorney had not formerly represented Mr. Baron.

    Ridiculous (none / 0) (#2)
    by Bologna on Thu Jan 06, 2011 at 05:53:32 AM EST
    How can you continue to protect Edwards?  He has spent millions out of his campaign fund paying lawyers and pr professionals deluding us all again.  I read the Youngs book and find it completely accurate as they back up everything they say (have the Edwards sued them?) and paint a realistic depiction of themselves.

    Blue's conversations with Rielle or anyone not her attorney are NOT privileged.  

    The truth needs to come out and this put to bed.

    Blue's conversations with her husband (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 02:31:38 AM EST
    could well be privileged. No one said her conversations with Rielle are privileged.

    There are several privileges besides attorney-client: marital, spousal communications, priest-penitent, doctor-patient, etc.

    No one is defending John Edwards' conduct. Whether it amounts to criminal activity has yet to be charged, let alone proven.