Edwards target of federal grand jury

posted at 3:40 pm on January 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last we heard in October, the Department of Justice had prepared a flurry of subpoenas to delve into the handling of campaign finances in John Edwards’ presidential run, with a specific eye towards the use of some funds to keep the Rielle Hunter scandal under wraps.  Today, the Associated Press reports that the grand jury has targeted Edwards in its probe, and not just Edwards.  Subpoenas have been issued for Alliance For a New America (AFNA) and linked organizations, where millions of dollars got spent with no public accounting:

A federal criminal investigation targeting John Edwards is examining how much the two-time presidential candidate knew about money used to cover up his extramarital affair and out-of-wedlock child and whether he had other practices that pushed the bounds of campaign finance laws, people involved in the case have told The Associated Press.

A federal grand jury meeting in Raleigh, N.C., is combing through records and testimony involving several political organizations and individuals connected to Edwards and trying to determine if the former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee broke any laws. A recently issued subpoena focuses on a web of these political groups allied with Edwards, according to subpoena details provided to AP that offer a glimpse into the investigation being conducted behind closed doors.

The situation gets murky indeed when looking at AFNA:

Atop the subpoena list, read to the AP by someone with access to a subpoena, is the Alliance for a New America, which is what is known as a political 527 group, named for the tax code section that governs it. Also on the list is a like-named private entity called Alliance for a New America LLC, or AFNA LLC, and Edwards’ former campaign manager Nick Baldick, who ran the political 527 group in support of Edwards’ bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. (IRS records for the same groups refer to the groups as Alliance for New America, without an “a.”)

Baldick and his attorney Jim Lamb would not comment on the federal investigation, but Lamb said Baldick has been told he is not a target of it.

Federal records show that about $3.3 million of the $4.8 million raised by the 527 was distributed to AFNA LLC for unspecified “consulting services.” The 527 and the LLC shared not only their name, but the same Alexandria, Va., post office box and the same contact, a Baldick associate named Katherine Buchanan. A crucial difference between the two Alliance entities was that the LLC was a limited liability company that did not have to publicly disclose how its money was spent.

The question will be whether that distinction was legal on its face, or whether it was used as a dodge to funnel money illegally to Edwards for his own personal use.  If the grand jury can connect the expenditures on “consultants” to those who tried keeping the lid on Edwards’ relationship with Hunter, the legality of the edifice may be a moot point anyway.  Presumably, the grand jury and the investigators are looking for someone on the inside to testify to how the money got spent. If they do and the money got directed to hide Hunter and keep her quiet, then everyone involved may face conspiracy charges.

AFNA isn’t the only entity under scrutiny, either.  The One American Committee paid Hunter over $100,000 for campaign Internet videos that never got published.  They also want to see how massive contributions from Fred Baron and Bunny Mellon were distributed, the latter of which got hidden in boxes of chocolates according to former aide Andrew Young’s book with the express purpose of keeping Hunter quiet.  Baron claimed to have supported Hunter financially without Edwards’ knowledge, but Young’s book says that Edwards agreed to hit up Mellon for hush money, which the grand jury seems to think may be an interesting avenue of inquiry.

None of this means anything until the grand jury produces indictments, of course — but becoming a target of a grand jury is the one way that happens.


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I’m guessing that’s why he asked his whore to marry him…wives don’t have to testify against their spouse in court.

marktarheel on January 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Edwards was right, there really are two Americas.

One that allows hypocritical but caring liberals to live as they want while preaching to the rest of us, and the other America which only wants to destroy the left and remake America as the new homeland of the Conservative Rethuglikkkans.

Bishop on January 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Presumably, the grand jury and the investigators are looking for someone on the inside to testify to how the money got spent.

Well that would be Andrew Young, wouldn’t it?

I hope they take both him and his wife down, along with Edwards.

Knucklehead on January 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Hey! Cut Johnny some slack! Maintaining a hair-do like that takes some serious bread!

GarandFan on January 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

If Tom Delay gets 3 years for playing shell games with campaign money, Edwards should too.

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Please let that ****, Amanda Marcotte, be indicted, too. She worked on his campaign, and nothing would please me more than to see her charged and convicted.

SouthernGent on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Edwards was right, there really are two Americas.

Oh, look! A rabbit!

GarandFan on January 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Eddy has an ace up his sleeve though, he is going to channel his deceased former wife who will of course tell everyone that he is innocent. It’s not like she can be cross-examined.

Bishop on January 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM

The price of funding the Two Americas is going up. There is is the America you wish you had, and the one that you’re paying to just keep her mouth shut.

Pony Style.

ted c on January 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Presumably, the grand jury and the investigators are looking for someone on the inside to testify to how the money got spent.

I assume they are using the time honored method of squeezing the small fry till one rolls over? What fun!

a capella on January 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I’m guessing that’s why he asked his whore to marry him…wives don’t have to testify against their spouse in court.

marktarheel on January 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

heh. She hasn’t married him yet and I’m thinking the price of that just went up.

Cha ching.

ted c on January 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

“…where millions of dollars got spent with no public accounting.”

Isn’t that the way Democrats like to stay in power…?

Seven Percent Solution on January 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

What an unethical, immoral piece of garbage.

kingsjester on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

John Kerry’s pick to be Vice President of the United States of America. – Never forget that.

aquaviva on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

This sounds bad. I don’t think they allow blow driers in prison.

RadClown on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Please let that ****, Amanda Marcotte, be indicted, too. She worked on his campaign, and nothing would please me more than to see her charged and convicted.

SouthernGent on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

That would make your day, my day, and Bill Donohue’s day.

steebo77 on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Did Ms. Hunter pay income tax on the chocolate money? I can see a deal forthcoming for her testimony. She would be wise not to marry her John.

Kissmygrits on January 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Two Americas:

Dirty political insiders getting rich off the sweat of everyone else.

Everyone else.

29Victor on January 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Wait, wait, wait!!!!! Can you say TARGET?

hpk1942 on January 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

funnel money illegally to Edwards for his own personal use

Two Americas?

The One American Committee

Any relation to Teh One?

Bunny Mellon were distributed, the latter of which got hidden in boxes of chocolates

Chocolate & cash from the Easter Bunny?

VibrioCocci on January 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM

This sounds bad. I don’t think they allow blow driers in prison.

RadClown on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Depends on your definition of the term “blow drier.”

29Victor on January 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM

No, the ace up Edwards’ sleeve is marrying his skank princess mistress ASAP so she can’t be compelled to testify against him.

uncivilized on January 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM

This sounds bad. I don’t think they allow blow driers in prison.

RadClown on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Two Americas / Two prisons – they will make an exception for the silky pony.

VibrioCocci on January 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Let’s not look at what sitting Democrat corruptocrats are doing. Let’s all look over here at Edwards for a while. I see the circus. Where’s my bread?

Extrafishy on January 17, 2011 at 3:55 PM

John Kerry’s pick to be Vice President of the United States of America. – Never forget that.

aquaviva on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Between this and Kerry’s yacht, think of the corruption that would have been in the White House had he won the election. It boggles the mind.

NJ Red on January 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Well that would be Andrew Young, wouldn’t it?

I hope they take both him and his wife down, along with Edwards.

Knucklehead on January 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Turn the screws down a bit. A little plea bargain or promises of a wrist slap served at a minimum security facility may allow that songbird to warble on pitch at upper levels. We’re big game hunting here.

a capella on January 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Between this and Kerry’s yacht, think of the corruption that would have been in the White House had he won the election. It boggles the mind.

NJ Red on January 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM

… which still pales in comparison to what we’re seeing from the O-ministration.

VibrioCocci on January 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

By the sword

Speakup on January 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

heh. She hasn’t married him yet and I’m thinking the price of that just went up.

Cha ching.

ted c on January 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Catbird seat. Levers of power and all that.

a capella on January 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM


which still pales in comparison to what we’re seeing from the O-ministration.

VibrioCocci on January 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I hope I live long enough to watch that frogmarch someday!

NJ Red on January 17, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Just how long has the government been “investigating” him?

Years….

Give me a break. Maybe by 2020 they will have something.

PatriotRider on January 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM

the grand jury has targeted Edwards in its probe

There is so much to work with here, I don’t know where to start…

Fallon on January 17, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Will Reille get conjugal visits?

Akzed on January 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

If Tom Delay gets 3 years for playing shell games with campaign money, Edwards should too.

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

From what I heard Tom Delay was railroaded, Edwards was actually conspiring to keep his mistress and his child secret with campaign money. I hope Tom Delay is exonerated through appeal.

fourdeucer on January 17, 2011 at 4:08 PM

A federal criminal investigation targeting John Edwards is examining how much the two-time two-timing presidential candidate knew …

Fixed it.

Socratease on January 17, 2011 at 4:11 PM

You will love this Matthew’s Special On Obama’s 1st 2 Years: Just Like Reagan’s!

Nearly Nobody on January 17, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Burn.

RedNewEnglander on January 17, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Oh noes. He said John Edwards was a “target”.

When, oh when, will the violent rhetoric stop on this site?

Lily on January 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Communications between husband and wife *during* a marriage is privileged. Marrying Hunter now isn’t going to help him. Anyway, as far as I know, they are no longer an item.

Blake on January 17, 2011 at 4:22 PM

It’ll be nice to see this little greaseball in an orange jumpsuit. Real nice.

Rational Thought on January 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Edwards/Rangel 2012!

eforhan on January 17, 2011 at 4:24 PM

f Tom Delay gets 3 years for playing shell games with campaign money, Edwards should too.

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

OMG! They would make such a cute couple!

This sounds bad. I don’t think they allow blow driers in prison.

RadClown on January 17, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Ahem…

Not going there. Won’t do it. Wouldn’t be prudent, wouldn’t be prudent.

turfmann on January 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Now this is a problem…do we act like liberals and convict him right now?
Or do we act like conservatives and wait for the grand jury?
I feel a little liberal today…after last week I don’t feel like cutting liberals any slack on accusations…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM

I’ve been stickin pins in my Edwards voodoo doll and it’s working.

Don’t mess with The Tortoise.

Geochelone on January 17, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Barney Frank wants to HEAD up the PROBE…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Barney Frank wants to HEAD up the PROBE…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Barney must have seen the Sex tape and liked what he saw.

portlandon on January 17, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Who do you think is prettier, John Edwards or National Review editor Rich Lowry? The “Breck Boys” have to be the prettiest men in politics.

bw222 on January 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

In honor of John Edwards’ upcoming prison stay:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ugUGPDjx_k

gary4205 on January 17, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Barney Frank wants to HEAD up the PROBE…

right2bright on January 17, 2011 at 4:30 PM

A gallon of Brain Bleach, please…

paragon27x on January 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I’m guessing that’s why he asked his whore to marry him…wives don’t have to testify against their spouse in court.

marktarheel on January 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

They can’t be forced to testify against their husbands for acts which occurred during the marriage. Nothing to stop her from having to testify against him for acts that occurred before.

Trafalgar on January 17, 2011 at 4:42 PM

John F. Kerry was unavailable for comment.

diogenes on January 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Sounds like Mr. Edwards may have to start using some of his ambulance chasing millions on some defense attorneys of his own. Couldn’t happen to a bigger sleazeball.

scalleywag on January 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Edwards was actually conspiring to keep his mistress and his child secret with campaign money.

Didn’t he have enough money of his own? Never mind. That was a dumb question.

BetseyRoss on January 17, 2011 at 5:02 PM

My understanding is a wife can not be forced to testify against a husband in a capital murder trial, for anything else the bets are off.

BruceB on January 17, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I wonder if MyCowardice stillreads Hot Air.

hawkdriver on January 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Even Libs know this guy is a dirtbag. That what was so scary about 2004.

Hummer53 on January 17, 2011 at 5:18 PM

NO,NO,NO!!! Obviously, you are unable to comprehend the situation. Silky Pony is a Leftist. Leftists are incapable of breaking the law. If it APPEARS that a Leftist broke the law, his Progressive/National Socialist comrades will find a way to exonerate him and place the blame on Bush and/or Palin.

oldleprechaun on January 17, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Edwards was right, there really are two Americas.

One that allows hypocritical but caring liberals to live as they want while preaching to the rest of us, and the other America which only wants to destroy the left and remake America as the new homeland of the Conservative Rethuglikkkans.

Bishop on January 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Define “caring.” It seems that the only things Edwards “cared” about were lining his pockets at the expense of those whom he sued under a false premise, getting his rocks off at the expense of his critically ill wife, and basking in the glow of the MSM echo chamber at the expense of anything that could even remotely be construed as morality. Again, the meme that liberals are the “caring” ones who act in defense of the little guy falls before the god of moral relativism that says that wealthy liberals must be good guys by virtue of their espoused liberalism. In other words, virtue for thee, but not for me. So, your argument rests on the juxtaposition of “caring” liberals with conservatives who must, by definition, be evil because you equate them with the KKK? Aristotle just rolled over in his grave.

College Prof on January 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM

This makes me wonder where the money has come from to relocate Vera Baker to Martinique and keep her there for several years.

slickwillie2001 on January 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Most Democrats wanted this guy to be VP in 2004 and a not insignificant chunk of them wanted him to be President in 2008.

We knew he was a self-serving scumbag all along, but they didn’t (or didn’t care).

They sure are good judges of character, those Dems.

Missy on January 17, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Please let that ****, Amanda Marcotte, be indicted, too. She worked on his campaign, and nothing would please me more than to see her charged and convicted.

SouthernGent on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

You have such good ideas. Please allow me to subscribe to your newsletter. ;-)

di butler on January 17, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I’m guessing that’s why he asked his whore to marry him…wives don’t have to testify against their spouse in court.

marktarheel on January 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

No, the ace up Edwards’ sleeve is marrying his skank princess mistress ASAP so she can’t be compelled to testify against him.

uncivilized on January 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM

John Edwards’ concubine has already testified before the Federal Grand Jury, under oath, and has contributed to the investigation. Rielle spent 9 hours in the courthouse in Raleigh, NC on August 6, 2009. Her testimony came as a “cooperating witness” with the federal government. She knew the feds had subpoenaed her bank statements and that they knew about every payment she received. The FBI told her it was in her best interests to tell the truth. And unlike the others who have testified, Rielle was driven to the court by FBI agents and escorted in by them. She got favorable treatment because she testified against her baby daddy.

Even if she does get married and cannot be compelled to testify against her spouse, her previous testimony and other contributing assistance can be entered into record, and she can be subpoenaed to the witness stand and be compelled to testify as to the accuracy of her previous testimony. She won’t be able to lie and change her previous testimony since she has been thoroughly vetted already, and she would not risk perjury anyways since she’d be jailed without a doubt.

But her previous testimony is not the crux of the alleged crimes anyways. She got lots and lots of money and it certainly may be that the money was ill gotten gains for her, but as to her personal knowledge of the money’s true origins and the process by which it was funneled to her I’m certain she has already testified that she did not know anything about that, and that she just simply played along with baby daddy’s delivery method, without knowing the finer details, which she blithely assumed helped protect him and knowingly enriched her.

After all, it was Andrew Young, who was once a loyal staffer of Edwards, who had claimed that he fathered Hunter’s child. She never publicly denied that until the cat got out of the bag courtesy of the National Enquirer. Then the payments were made secretly to Rielle Hunter, and Andrew Young, by Fred Baron, Edwards’ national finance chairman who passed away back in 2008. I’m sure she testified as to the ‘secret’ payments being true, but again, just went along to protect baby daddy and didn’t know how it was done from the other end other than that she got her hush money directly from Fred Baron.

FlatFoot on January 17, 2011 at 6:28 PM

And to think the MSM had to be dragged kicking and screaming to report the affair part let alone the very implications it raised of monetary malfeasance being involved.

Here was John Edwards in a presidential primary when the Enquirer story came out. MSM ignored.

Here was John Edwards reported approvingly by the MSM as being on Obama’s “short list” to be VP or maybe just Attorney General. But on the list to be in the adminstration.

Compare how a story with obvious leads gets disregarded when the main characterhas the magic “D” after his name.

And no, I’m not surprised.

But if the Enquirer hadn’t caught Edwards in that hotel on camera this sordid tale could well be playing out as Edwards occupied some post in the Obama administration. I guess we can be thankful we avoided that situation.

Cindy Cooper on January 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM

I picture Dirty Harry getting on the elevator in the movie Sudden Impact. He looks over and sees Edwards standing there with that smirk on his face…He reaches over and snatches Edwards by his tie and says “Listen Punk, to me your nothin but dogs%$# understand and a lot of things can happen to dogs%$#. It can be scraped up with a shovel off the ground. It can dry up and blow away in the wind or it can be stepped on and squashed. So, take my advise and be careful where the dog s%$# ya”
Edwards is a big steamin pile of dogs$#@. Crap of the highest order. He needs to be stepped on and squished!

So sayeth the Coondawg

the Coondawg on January 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Edwards had better learn how to respond to this statement – “Boy, you sure do got a purtty mouth.”

madmonkphotog on January 17, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Did he REALLY propose to her? Ugh!

This affair has cost him everything! Family, reputation, respect, money, and now maybe freedom. Hope she was worth it, you fool!

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

debi118 on January 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Democrats wanted to put this slimebag a heartbeat from the Presidency. And almost did.

And yet, Sarah Palin was “unacceptable.”

You betcha!

Good Lt on January 17, 2011 at 9:50 PM

This was the democrat’s number two a few years back.

Number Two!

Inanemergencydial on January 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Let’s not forget the late Mrs Edwards knew about the affair but kept quiet so as not to spoil her chance of being First Lady. But I will admit my sympathy for her illness and subsequent passing. Politics has nothing to do with caring for a fellow human being.

Big John on January 17, 2011 at 11:50 PM

The Breck Boy

Gohawgs on January 18, 2011 at 1:03 AM

If Tom Delay gets 3 years for playing shell games with campaign money, Edwards should too.

Paul-Cincy on January 17, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Tom Delay was a casualty of a crooked prosecutor in Austin who shopped five or so grand juries until he found a newly seated one who didn’t really know the ropes – they gave him the Delay indictment – which was originally used to hoist him on the ‘pubbies ethics petard – and so remove him from his position.

He was tried AND convicted on activities that were not against the law when he did them. Crap like this really makes me lose confidence in the jury system. This is one of the guns brought to a knife fight by the Democrats.

skeeter on January 18, 2011 at 3:24 AM