John Edwards Grand Jury Close to Wrapping Up

According to the news, things don't look good for John Edwards. The grand jury is winding down, and a decision is expected this week or next. I think the Grand Jury there meets on Thursdays, twice a month, but that could have changed.

Some say he'll either be indicted or have worked out a plea deal, but he won't get off scott-free. The likely charges, according to the anonymous sources: The money from Heiress Bunny Mellon, which he treated like a gift rather than a campaign contribution. [More...]

Political observers have said the money was a campaign contribution and should have been noted in Edwards' campaign finance reports.

There are also questions about millions of dollars from Mellon that went to The Alliance for a New America, a nonprofit that supported Edwards' candidacy. Money from the nonprofit was paid to a consultant agency that no longer exists.

I hope the news is wrong and the grand jury decides not to indict him. I'm sending good thoughts his way.

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    What a waste (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by mmc9431 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 07:33:53 AM EST
    I'm not concerned with Edward's personal life. That was between Elizabeth and him.

    I am concerned that he continued to take money from hard working people knowing full well that the media dam was about to break.

    He knew he was going to have to pull out and yet he stayed in the race and impacted the primary elections.

    I don't know if that's exactly illegal, but it certainly was comtemptable.

    It's silly (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by kdm251 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:20:45 AM EST
    Going after Edward for this and letting people like bush and Cheney skate on war crimes seems like a double standard

    I would so much rather there was a (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:40:40 AM EST
    federal grand jury getting ready to hand up indictments against the Goldman Sachs Gang, but that's taking wishful thinking to unheard of levels, I guess.

    This John Edwards thing just seems like really small potatoes, and has a bit of a piling-on feel to it.

    Too many felonies (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:21:44 AM EST

    The money from Heiress Bunny Mellon, which he treated like a gift rather than a campaign contribution.

    There are too many felonies.  IMO, this should be a civil matter.

    Looks very good that he will be indicted (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:40:28 AM EST
    that's the same (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:30:26 AM EST
    article and sentence I quoted. Note that the anonymous source mentioning it is "close to the investigation" not "close to Edwards."

    Also, a plea deal this early could involve a plea to a misdemanor with probation guidelines to avoid an indictment on felony charges.


    Fitting punishment (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:02:13 AM EST

    Not probation, let him off with a shaved head.

    Edwards... (none / 0) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:58:09 AM EST
    ... was my favorite, hands down.  

    The Today Show was reporting that he the Justice Department has given the locals the go ahead for an indictment.  They played recordings of Edwards talking to his aid about the Bunny money, it's bad, I can't see how he could spin those recordings.
    Story Here

    Why does a kazillionaire need to take funds from his campaign to pay-off his baby mama.  Did Elizabeth have such tight stings on their money that he had no other choice, or is he another cheap, rich guy that didn't feel like his personal money should be used ?  And his lover, she was taking a lot of cash, why isn't she being held to the fire.  Private Jets and hundreds of thousands to keep this under wraps, just seems like she should at the very least asked why so much.

    I am just so mad at him.  This story could be playing out with him as President, and that IMO is unforgivable.  Right now had things played out differently, he could be single-handedly unraveling the New Deal.  I am just so glad he was caught early, because he had my vote.  Obama might be a chump, but at least he isn't national distraction/embarrassment.

    Not to toss off this story, but where does the Justice Department get off going after Edwards and letting the lines of admitted criminals walk.  It's a bad joke, Edwards deserves all that is coming, but a lot of folks won't, and that sucks.

    If that's all they have (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:42:34 AM EST
    I don't think it's enough.

    A check in a box of chocolates sounds like a gift.

    The excerpt doesn't have John saying what the money is for.

    I think they must have got that tape from Andrew Young or it would be a serious grand jury violation for NBC to have it.

    There's also no context for the comment, except for Andrew Young's version of what it means.

    I think this is about the $3.4 million she gave to Edwards' PAC The Alliance for a New America, and the $495k she sent  the Pac in 2006 in the name of an entity Oak Spring Farms. She also made a $250 contribution in 2006 to The One America PAC which is tied to Edwards.

    I don't think the charges will pertain to Andrew Young or Rielle Hunter at all.


    make that last contribution (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:43:53 AM EST
    $250k in 2006.

    The story is here.


    Wonder if (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:02:47 AM EST
    They claim the money was a "gift" will the feds then check to see if taxes were paid on this very generous gift?

    I think Bunny Mellon (none / 0) (#20)
    by Madeline on Wed May 25, 2011 at 12:39:37 PM EST
    is very, very angry about what he is accused of doing.  I read, all though a while ago, that she thought his actions were contemptible. If that is true, that she went public, I don't think he can claim 'a gift'.  i also read, from an anonymous source, that she was approached about supporting him against the charges but she said no.  

    She really liked the man and he did her wrong.


    To quote BTD (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 12:55:04 PM EST
    "A pol's a pol" and they will do what they do.

    Typing with a band-aid on (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:04:21 AM EST
    Bad idea.

    Basically - if he was a Republican candidate, would you want the Justice Department to look the other way?

    This isn't about whether he's a Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Anne on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:23:51 AM EST
    or a Republican, at least not for me.

    I'm not saying that if he did something wrong, the DOJ should look the other way, just that I think there are far larger and more far-reaching crimes that may have been committed in connection with one of the worst financial crises we've experienced as a nation, and that the DOJ does not appear to regard those as a priority.

    The Matt Taibbi/Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs has stuck with me, days after reading it, and I don't know, there's something about all those defiant executives flat-out lying to Congress and the DOJ looking the other way that bothers me; I haven't been able to bring myself to read Carl Levin's committee's report on their investigation because I know it will only make me feel sicker about what these execs did.

    Edwards is small potatoes in comparison.


    I agree (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 11:54:24 AM EST
    And the question wasn't just for you.  We are all guilty of it, but especially around a place liek this, where most folks are left-leaning and many others are anti-, or at least, distrustful, of law enforcement / prosecutors / courts / DOJ, etc. (some fears founded in reality, and some not even close to reality).  The question often turns to "Why are they going after 'X' for __?" (Well, maybe one reason is because there's evidence to suggest "X" broke the law, but I digress.) Or, "Why don't we go after 'Y'"?

    But when it comes to people of a different political persuasion, some of the most liberal minded around here will be in the "throw the book at 'em" mode. Just shows how all our views of the world color our perception of "what is justice?"

    Basically, I was just curious.


    Some get caught, others don't (none / 0) (#23)
    by christinep on Wed May 25, 2011 at 02:26:49 PM EST
    Speeding tickets..."but officer, he was speeding too and what about that guy over there!"  I've never bought the life-isn't-fair complaint for circumstances like these.  If we expected 100% enforcement of every non-complying situation...if we really think it ought to be something like total response...then, we haven't considered resources in people, dollars, time.  And, we might end up doing next to nothing in a particular area because we can't get 'em all.

    I've got the bias of an enforcement-type after so many years in that field with the feds. Discussions/arguments/debates about whether resource limitations called for going after many or a lot of easy/moderate cases or shifting some resources to the "big ones" are complicated-easy. It ain't just politics, in my experience. Sometimes, of course it is a variation of that. But, what I saw and what I know of from a number of enforcement agencies is that a large factor in allocating available resources (and, when not administrative, working with DOJ to allocate resources among regions for key cases or deterrence messages) has to do with an assessment by a mix of human beings about what would have the most effect in a deterrence sense. Sometimes that would mean taking the biggest, hardest case that would consume extensive resources (leaving little for anything else in the planning cycle) because that case sent a deterrence message that needed to be made in the strongest possible way. Sometimes that meant thematic enforcement to effectuate deterrence via getting publication in a region, etc.  I ramble here; but, the reason is that there usually is a reason why one approach  is used by enforcement officers in a given year versus another time period. Sometimes the reason may seem flimsy; sometimes not.

    As for Edwards: Well...if the message is to reinforce the need to adhere to campaign financing restrictions, that can be quite important for both parties. IMO, that reinforcement needs to be made via a high profile case periodically. If Edwards got caught in that kind of situation, one could say that he knew what he was doing.

    Apart from enforcement considerations, the "character" aspect of this sorry presidential candidate--at least from the news stories of the past few years--may have the additional advantage of a type of poetic justice. Just my very personal opinion.


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jbindc on Wed May 25, 2011 at 02:59:20 PM EST
    Best explanation came from a anecdote I read in Reader's Digest years ago.  Someone wrote in that their husband got caught speeding by a state trooper in a southern state.  When the sheriff slowly rambled up to the car to write the ticket, the husband protested that other drivers on the road were going just as fast as he was, and asked why they weren't pulled over as well.  The trooper asked the husband, "Did you ever go fishing?"  When the husband replied, "Yes, why?", the trooper then asked, "Ever catch all the fish?"

    Set.Point.Match to the trooper.


    In other words (none / 0) (#25)
    by Rojas on Wed May 25, 2011 at 09:46:42 PM EST
    Your bias is towards an arbitrary and incoherent process. And to the extent that majorities have lost faith in effective and objective policies originating at the federal level we have "characters" such as yourself to thank for it.

    Unnecessarily derogatory (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by christinep on Wed May 25, 2011 at 10:05:38 PM EST
    and without substantiation...would be my characterization of a comment that is merely a put-down of my person. Too bad. No, my bias is not toward an unfair system. I acknowledged my career background and stated my "bias" stems from such background. We all are affected--use whatever term you wish--by a lifelong career.

    Personally, I believe that the American jurisprudential system works for the most part. In looking at other systems, I am not sure what it would be replaced with...in reality, not theory. Changes need to be made; and, over the years some have and others are still wanting. My work has been more than 90% civil over the years...that may be a factor in my response.

    Again, my comment was offered in sincerity. Your perjorative comment is not merited.


    Better Headlines (none / 0) (#22)
    by mmc9431 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:31:32 PM EST
    It's much easier and lot safer to go after the easy targets. Wall St pumps way too much money to both parties for them to be a target,

    Lance Armstrong, Blago, Edwards and the likes have fallen out of public favor. It's a win situation. We're upholding the American Way and the public and media love these types of headlines.