No Retrial for John Edwards
John Edwards' long, embarrassing saga into the criminal justice system is over. The Justice Department announced it won't seek to retry him and has moved to dismiss the charges.
DOJ's Lanny Breuer says:
“Last month, the government put forward its best case against Mr. Edwards, and I am proud of the skilled and professional way in which our prosecutors.... conducted this trial,” he said.
Team Edwards says:
“While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply,” they said. “We are very glad that, after living under this cloud for over three years, John and his family can have their lives back and enjoy the peace they deserve.”
I don't think the prosecutors tried a professional case. Their evidence consisted of the testimony of Andrew Young, who admitted putting donations to his own use and but for singing for his supper, would have been facing criminal charges, and witnesses who did little but broadcast intimate and tawdry details of Edward's affair and marriage, violating even the privacy of his deceased wife. And none of it proved the most critical element in the case: Were the donations campaign contributions within the meaning of the Federal Election Campaign Act?
If they had no better evidence than what they put on, they shouldn't have brought the case, in my view.
The public shaming to which the prosecutors subjected Edwards was unconscionable. When you break the law, the Government has the right to charge you with a crime and punish you if convicted. It does not have the right to destroy you. It's not even obligated to help him rebuild his life.
All of our Edwards trial coverage is accessible here.
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