Breaking: John Edwards verdict imminent; Update: Edwards not guilty on one count, jury deadlocked on others; Update: Mistrial declared; Video: Edwards speaks

posted at 2:41 pm on May 31, 2012 by Allahpundit

At long last, after nine days of deliberations, an answer to the question on everyone’s mind: Er, why was this guy on trial again?

Actually, regardless of the verdict, I’m not sure we’re going to get that answer.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator and presidential nominee, was charged with accepting illegal campaign contributions, falsifying documents and conspiring to receive and conceal the contributions. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine…

Prosecutors said Edwards “knowingly and willingly” accepted almost $1 million from two wealthy donors to hide former mistress Rielle Hunter and her pregnancy, then concealed the donations by filing false and misleading campaign disclosure reports…

Prosecutors argued that Edwards knowingly violated campaign finance laws by accepting the large contributions from Rachel Mellon and Fred Baron that went to support Hunter. Edwards “knew these rules well,” Higdon said, and should have known that the contributions violated campaign finance laws.

A VP at the Center for Competitive Politics comments:

If Edwards is successfully prosecuted, we may be entering an “Alice in Wonderland” world, where conduct that would not draw the ire of civil law enforcement can lead to prison. Because Edwards could be convicted for taking a contribution that the Federal Election Commission, which regulates campaign finance, wouldn’t even regard as a political donation.

This could happen if the jury, following the judge’s final instructions, issued Friday, finds as a “fact” that the money given by Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, which Edwards and his associates used to hide his mistress, was given for “a purpose” of influencing a federal election. That purpose could be one of several purposes.

How in the world a jury – or, frankly, anyone – could say what another person’s purpose in doing anything is astonishing. It also flies in the face of settled constitutional law.

Updates are coming. Stand by.

Update: I thought the protracted deliberations meant we were headed for a hung jury, but now I’m thinking it probably means that he’ll be acquitted of the most serious charges at least.

Update: Hold the phone — looks like they might be more or less hung after all. CNN says they’ve reached a unanimous verdict on only one count out of six; the judge, apparently, has ordered them to get back to work on the others. Hoo boy.

Wondering now what’ll happen if he’s convicted on that count and they deadlock on the rest. Will the prosecution retry him given the heat they’ve taken for going after him this time and knowing that the next jury is likely to have a hard time too? Or will they take the conviction on a single count as a consolation prize and walk away?

Update: Edwards’s lawyers have asked for a mistrial. Tick tock.

Update: The prosecution officially has a “situation” on its hands. From ABC’s Rick Klein:

Edwards NOT GUILTY on Count 3; jury hung on all others

What do you do now if a mistrial is declared on the other five counts? You’ve already been embarrassed on one of the counts and have no assurances at all that a new jury will even reach a verdict on the others, let alone convict. Time for them to cut their losses and lick their wounds?

Update: Per ABC’s banner headline, a mistrial has been declared. I’d bet heavily that the prosecution throws in the towel instead of scheduling a rematch.

Update: Via Fox News Insider, here’s the man himself after the verdict reflecting on his moral failings and professing his love for the child whose paternity he once denied on national television. Two words: Edwards 2016?


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Comment pages: 1 2

BTW – who will he pardon in January?

tomg51 on May 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

His entire administration, starting with Holder.

teke184 on May 31, 2012 at 4:46 PM

How is that idea of reforming our campaign finance law looking now?

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Most conservatives are for reform. They want all these speech restricting laws repealed. And Silky Pony should never have been charged with a crime in the first place. Please do try to keep up with the fact that many conservative commentators found these charges to be ludicrous on their face.

NotCoach on May 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Soooooooo…

… The real question is, what does this do to his gay porn career?

Seven Percent Solution on May 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Good. This was a lame prosecution, and never should have happened.

I hope, BTW, that Obama hands out pardons wholesale on the way out the door. People w/ pardons have no 5th Amendment right to refuse to testify, because they can’t incriminate themselves.

But a refusal to testify, or lying while testifying, is a crime, for which they can be thrown in jail. And the Romney Administration will have access to the files to impeach their testimony if they do lie.

Greg Q on May 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

via tingles

a waste of time and money by a GOP prosecutor

now we know how the rest of the lsm is going to turn this

blame the GOP prosecutor

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Ace has a Flaming Skull up. I won’t spoil it for you. Go look for yourself.

Christien on May 31, 2012 at 5:01 PM

This means nothing.

I think.

Just got a call from my lawyers.

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 5:01 PM

a bush holdover (prosecutor)
-tingles

yeah, they are lovin’ johnny now that this has occurred

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

I sort of like the outcome. It really does show there are two Americas. And that democrats can get away with crimes and the GOP can’t. Because they have built the system to cheat for them.

Best to expose that now.

William Amos on May 31, 2012 at 5:09 PM

yeah, they are lovin’ johnny now that this has occurred

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:02 PM

For liberals, having the moral standards of a rutting wildebeest is a resume enhancement.

CurtZHP on May 31, 2012 at 5:11 PM

CurtZHP on May 31, 2012 at 5:11 PM

tru dat

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

He’s live on TV, talking about his feelings, and his family. It’s sickening. I guess this is how he got his huge fortune, by tugging on people’s heartstrings. Again, sickening.

Paul-Cincy on May 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Paul-Cincy on May 31, 2012 at 5:13 PM

the lsm will praise nonetheless

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:15 PM

slimy pony

kirkill on May 31, 2012 at 5:17 PM

North Carolina is a cesspool. Trust me.

SouthernGent on May 31, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Rush Limbaugh has always said that sex scandals are resume enhancers for the libs. My guess is that they will fully rehabilitate this scumbag to be viable again in the future.

karenhasfreedom on May 31, 2012 at 5:18 PM

ouch, jeffrey toobin thought it sounded like a campaign speech…

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 5:21 PM

A handful of scum juries have turned me cynical on all juries. The racist retards in the O.J. case and the Democrap activist who scotched the first Baloneyvich trial, both stand out.

Can’t wait to find out that 11 people were willing to convict this scumbag on stupid campaign finance charges, but some Democrat retard nullified the jury.

Jaibones on May 31, 2012 at 5:23 PM

A handful of scum juries have turned me cynical on all juries. The racist retards in the O.J. case and the Democrap activist who scotched the first Baloneyvich trial, both stand out.

Can’t wait to find out that 11 people were willing to convict this scumbag on stupid campaign finance charges, but some Democrat retard nullified the jury.

Jaibones on May 31, 2012 at 5:23 PM

What sound legal reason was there for charging Edwards in the first place? Granted, the man is scum. But do you really want to go down the road of the legal system punishing people for being nothing more then scum?

NotCoach on May 31, 2012 at 5:29 PM

At long last, after nine days of deliberations, an answer to the question on everyone’s mind: Er, why was this guy on trial again?

No idea.

What sound legal reason was there for charging Edwards in the first place? Granted, the man is scum. But do you really want to go down the road of the legal system punishing people for being nothing more then scum?

NotCoach on May 31, 2012 at 5:29 PM

You’re right. Edwards is a sleazeball but this trial had absolutely no basis in the law whatsoever. The prosecutor that brought this case to court and then announced his plans to run for office will hopefully be taken to the woodshed by voters. What an incredible waste of taxpayer money- and you know that Edwards will find a way to turn himself into a victim and somehow benefit from it.

bayam on May 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM

BTW – who will he pardon in January?

tomg51 on May 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

His entire administration, starting with Holder.

teke184 on May 31, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I believe many of them already have fill-in-the-blanks pardons in their bank safety deposit boxes. If you were someone like numbnuts Holder, wouldn’t you demand one?

slickwillie2001 on May 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Mistrial or not, this man is and always will be the lowest form of fetid pond scum in human form I can possibly imagine. I now just hope he does the only right thing left to him to do, and that is to just go away into obscurity and never be heard from again.

pilamaye on May 31, 2012 at 5:41 PM

So how long before msnbc and current offer him a show? I’d say before the election.

senor on May 31, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I sort of like the outcome. It really does show there are two Americas. And that democrats can get away with crimes and the GOP can’t. Because they have built the system to cheat for them.

Best to expose that now.

William Amos on May 31, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Yep.

squint on May 31, 2012 at 5:55 PM

julia turns in her jury duty pay to her employer and returns to her community gardening.

t8stlikchkn on May 31, 2012 at 5:57 PM

This just in John Edwards gets show on CNN

ldbgcoleman on May 31, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Money talks,BS Walks..

Capt-Dax on May 31, 2012 at 6:07 PM

This trial was a joke.

As for Edwards cheating on his wife, that was wrong. However,
I saw his wife on a talk show and she was a raving, lunatic witch.
I think that household was living separate lives for years. They
probably kept up appearances for his political career which also
benefited her lifestyle.

Its sad that she died of cancer. It is also sad that she used
her cancer to vilify Edwards. Hell hath no fury indeed!

The real creeps in this story are the aide and his wife.

Amjean on May 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM

At least on its face, that was a very classy exit speech. There are other things beside politics.

paul1149 on May 31, 2012 at 6:33 PM

At least on its face, that was a very classy exit speech. There are other things beside politics.

paul1149 on May 31, 2012 at 6:33 PM

The speech itself was well done. But was Edwards sincere, or merely doing more acting on a stage… just to reopen political doors for his own benefit in the future?

Sorry to be cynical, but given this guy’s track record I’d bet on the latter.

ITguy on May 31, 2012 at 6:41 PM

HaHa

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Yeah, you must be SO proud of him.

1% Shyster Mouthpiece makes a zillion dollars by using Junk Science to manipulate countless juries, builds a mansion complex with more square footage than the White House directly across the road from a trailer park, and then cheats on his wife while she’s dying of cancer.

And then he uses his own 1% Lawyers to neutralize a jury to become Above the Law.

I’m sure if he had “R” after his name, you would be livid.

F-

PS, how’s that Dick Cheney War Crimes Trial at The Hague coming along?

HaHa+

Del Dolemonte on May 31, 2012 at 6:42 PM

….told ya!

KOOLAID2 on May 31, 2012 at 6:45 PM

And the Romney Administration will have access to the files to impeach their testimony if they do lie.

Greg Q on May 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

lol! O’bama’s Chicago Gang makes Bill “900 FBI Files” Clinton’s bunch of Little Rock Thugs look like amateurs. You actually think there will be any files for the Romney Administration to access to begin with?

Del Dolemonte on May 31, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Questions:

Will he replace Biden?
What kind of people will pay for his soon-to-be-released book?
How soon will be be in public with his “next” girlfriend and how good will she look?
Will he also head to Wisconsin to campaign against Walker?

sdbatboy on May 31, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I could care less about guilt or not guilty…

Release the Tape!!

(NSFW)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Dc5-iSIdM&feature=player_embedded

Shaughnessy on May 31, 2012 at 7:20 PM

How is that idea of reforming our campaign finance law looking now?

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Most conservatives are for reform. They want all these speech restricting laws repealed. And Silky Pony should never have been charged with a crime in the first place. Please do try to keep up with the fact that many conservative commentators found these charges to be ludicrous on their face.

NotCoach on May 31, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Progressives have a hard time understanding that you can think John Edwards is a slimeball without necessarily thinking he should be prosecuted.

tom on May 31, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Edwards can pat his backside and say “My smile saved you, pal!”

MaiDee on May 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Instead of just fading from the public spotlight and caring for his young children, you know this clown will be trying to weasel back into power.

Blake on May 31, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Two words: Edwards 2016?

LOL…wait…anything can happen with Libs.

goflyers on May 31, 2012 at 8:33 PM

His god might not be through with him but politically this guy is a corpse.

I wish him luck with his family.

For the rest of us… I think they had to bring this case weak as it is, but let’s not waste any more time or money this guy.

lexhamfox on May 31, 2012 at 8:36 PM

This trial was a joke.

As for Edwards cheating on his wife, that was wrong. However,
I saw his wife on a talk show and she was a raving, lunatic witch.
I think that household was living separate lives for years. They
probably kept up appearances for his political career which also
benefited her lifestyle.

Its sad that she died of cancer. It is also sad that she used
her cancer to vilify Edwards.
Hell hath no fury indeed!

The real creeps in this story are the aide and his wife.

Amjean on May 31, 2012 at 6:14 PM

The Youngs are creepier than the Edwards? lol in what reality?

Bizarro No. 1 on May 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

His best line today (paraphrasing): “If I want to know who was responsible for these wrongs, all I have to do is look in the mirror.”

Reminded me of his preening in front of the mirror as captured on YouTube during the election. He should probably avoid mirror references, if you know what I mean.

TXUS on May 31, 2012 at 10:45 PM

i got to 3 min. Glad to see he took responsibility for this imbroglio…

ted c on May 31, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Edwards/Corzine 2016

rickyricardo on June 1, 2012 at 2:55 AM

Free the Silky Pony.

This is one of those cases where the process is the punishment. It’s not supposed to work like that.

David Blue on June 1, 2012 at 5:20 AM

Edwards/Corzine 2016

rickyricardo on June 1, 2012 at 2:55 AM

lol

Bizarro No. 1 on June 1, 2012 at 5:54 AM

Edwards/Corzine 2016

rickyricardo on June 1, 2012 at 2:55 AM

No way. That ticket lacks diversity.

Warren should be top of the ticket, and the veep candidate should be be whichever of Edwards and Corzine makes the most shameless argument about high cheekbones and family lore.

David Blue on June 1, 2012 at 6:38 AM

How is that idea of reforming our campaign finance law looking now?

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Conservatives from Jason Lewis to Mark Levin have called this a stupid prosecution. The prosecution resulted from complex and overbearing campaign finance laws (read: Leftists trying to regulate free speech).

We should reform CF law by making it horrifyingly simple and open… but leftists hate that.

mankai on June 1, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Mr. Slick dodges another bullet.

The only thing missing from his presser was his trademark “channeling of dead babies”.

Mr Galt on June 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Money Talks, and BS Walks..

Capt-Dax on June 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM

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