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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He’ll skate, or a split of some sort…

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Did he ever make it with that alternate juror?

The Rogue Tomato on May 31, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Which type of prisoner is hated most by the other inmates, a Democrat or a child molester?

Mark1971 on May 31, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Silky Allah? I was thinking more along the lines of “greaszy as charged.”

melle1228 on May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

You sure got pretty hair.

CherryBombsBigBrownBeaver on May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The amount of time this has taken makes me nervous.

Ward Cleaver on May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Hung jury on most of the counts…per Fox News.

d1carter on May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Michelle will need to update her book on Democrat corruption after this one.

MTF on May 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Megan Kelly is saying that there is word of a hung jury on MOST of the counts…a verdict on count 3.

Gettycorn on May 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I feel bad for the kids…

Seven Percent Solution on May 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

All because he couldn’t just admit the fact that he boned someone who wasn’t his wife.

I’m going to LOL long and hard if he goes to prison.

MadisonConservative on May 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

In John Edward’s America he’s innocent.

ToddPA on May 31, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Unanimous verdict against him on 1 count. Hung jury on all the others. Per El Rushbo.

Kataklysmic on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

John Edwards jury has reached verdict only on count 3 re Bunny Mellon says CNN. Still 5 other counts they are deadlocked on.

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Gonna skate. NO F’IN WAY Silky goes to prison. What a circus.

If I’m wrong I’ll eat my keyboard.

=/

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Count 3 is Illegal campaign contributions from a Bunny Mellon. Ms. Kelly has confirmed that there is a verdict on count 3…Will the judge do an Allen Charge to the jury?

Gettycorn on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Difficult case. He couldn’t conceal the mistress just from his wife. Concealment had to be for everyone.

rbj on May 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Verdict reached on count 3 according to Rush. The judge sent them back to deliberate more.

dogsoldier on May 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

@AP BREAKING: Jury reaches verdict on 1 of 6 counts in John Edwards trial; judge sends jury back

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

John Edwards needs to be sentence to 30 years with Debbie Wasserman Schultze.

Oil Can on May 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Not too concerned about him going to prison as long as he slithers under a rock somewhere and leaves the rest of us alone (end of his political career).

SKYFOX on May 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Please let there be a plethora of guilties returned by the jury. Add that to Obama’s major blunder with the Polish comment, today’s face smack of dueling campaigns with Axelord in Boston and Romney at Solyndra, and it makes for another hell of a poor week for the One.

And it only gets better in June, with the Wisconsin recall vote on Tuesday and the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare this month.

More popcorn please!

parke on May 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Sentencing is a ways off.

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Judge sent them back to deliberate more.

Kataklysmic on May 31, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Just think, if he had won the nomination in 2008, there would be an empty solar panel factory on the East coast instead of the West, or maybe just a hair gel factory. The funny thing is that if he had won the nomination, none of this would have come out.

Vashta.Nerada on May 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

He’s too rich to go to prison.

/two Americas

tetriskid on May 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

John Edwards needs to be sentence to 30 years with Debbie Wasserman Schultze.

Oil Can on May 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

There are laws against that and the current president doesn’t allow torture.

cozmo on May 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM

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.

You’re right. Only guilty on the funding, somehow.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

DRUDGE saying that the jurors are “Hung on 5 counts”.

There were only 6 counts to start with.

*sigh*

FlatFoot on May 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Which type of prisoner is hated most by the other inmates, a Democrat or a child molester?

Mark1971 on May 31, 2012 at 2:50 PM

What’s the difference?

I kid, I kid…

catmman on May 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

@SooperMexican Edwards jury hung on most verdicts…

@sarahbellumd: please, no more “john edwards” and “hung” together. please.

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 2:59 PM

…I’m wishing John two things…a sore butt in prison…or castration for his smiley face…
He’ll probably move to Mass. and run for office and win!

KOOLAID2 on May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Put him in a cell without a hairbrush or a mirror.

Ward Cleaver on May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

@WSOC_TV: 5-minute recess has been called in #EdwardsTrial after attorney request for mistrial.

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM

He was hung? What????

faraway on May 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Or will they take the conviction on a single count as a consolation prize and walk away?

This – he’s cost enough dough already.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 3:03 PM

He’ll probably move to Mass. and run for office and win!

KOOLAID2 on May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

No way. His hairstyle screams “California”. Just add highlights.

SKYFOX on May 31, 2012 at 3:04 PM

He’ll probably move to Mass. and run for office and win!

KOOLAID2 on May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

He can primary Obama from prison, I hear.

faraway on May 31, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Unanimous verdict against him on 1 count. Hung jury on all the others. Per El Rushbo.

Kataklysmic on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I guess Flirting with the Jury paid off.

portlandon on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

How many prisoners are there who spend many years in jail and then are found not guilty? I hope this d*ck is one of them.

hip shot on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

@SpecialReport Edwards jury deadlocked on most counts. The defense pushes for a mistrial.

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

A big slap on the back for the all the media folks who vetted this guy in 2004. Nice job! At least he wasn’t charged with making mooseburgers. He’d be in front of a firing squad right now…

joejm65 on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Put him in a cell without a hairbrush or a mirror.

Ward Cleaver on May 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I think you put him in a cell with the hairbrush, but no mirror. That would really drive him nuts.

Flange on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

That female Alternate juror just walked out with
her hair messed up, and a big smile on her face.

ToddPA on May 31, 2012 at 3:08 PM

How have these funds been determined campaign funds? Were these checks written to Silky Pony 2008 and cleared into a campaign account?

CorporatePiggy on May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Well. I guess he’s mostly innocent.

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Judge is making them continue deliberations.

Gettycorn on May 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Well. I guess he’s mostly not innocent.

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Unanimous verdict against him on 1 count. Hung jury on all the others. Per El Rushbo.

Kataklysmic on May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I guess Flirting with the Jury paid off.

portlandon on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Okay, I misread your comment and read fisting with the jury. I blame the Obama administration.

CherryBombsBigBrownBeaver on May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Silky as charged….?

Now that is funny.

NeoKong on May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Edwards is a sleaze ball. An embarrassment to NC

Where was the media in 08? Hell, in 04….

Redford on May 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Did he channel the inner-children of the jury members during his closing arguments?

Left Coast Right Mind on May 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Which type of prisoner is hated most by the other inmates, a Democrat or a child molester?

Mark1971 on May 31, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Most prisoners are probably democrats anyway.

CurtZHP on May 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

ugharoo

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Silky as charged.
/Allahpundit

**friggin’ hilarious, AP**

ted c on May 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Are they deliberating on what happens to Mini-Pony?

faraway on May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Somehow they’ve gotten the same jury from the OJ and the Casey Anthony trials. When did they take their circus on the road?

AubieJon on May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

What a mess.

MelonCollie on May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

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.

I’m sorry, but that is stupid. And very wrong. Any crime — or tort for that matter — requires a jury to decide what the accused intended.

zerosheep on May 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM

ted c on May 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

2nd that

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

I don’t trust Napoltano (on Fox right now)

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

@AP Judge apparently misunderstood Edwards jurors and thought they had reached a verdict on all six counts: http://t.co/cPimsyoY -MS

Flora Duh on May 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I guess Flirting with the Jury paid off.

portlandon on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

She was the only one that wasn’t hung?
He’ll have to swing those silky bangs both ways to get off.

bettycooper on May 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Awww…. such a sad fade-out image of Edwards. PUKE

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:32 PM

CorporatePiggy on May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

thats not the way it works. even if he never touched the money he can be guilty if the money is being given to rielle hunter/andrew young or whomever due to his status as a candidate for political office.

chasdal on May 31, 2012 at 3:32 PM

He’ll have to swing those silky bangs both ways to get off.

bettycooper on May 31, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:34 PM

If Edwards is lucky he’ll be out chasing ambulances again by next week.

Edwards after the verdict is read: “Did I hear a siren?”

jaime on May 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

The jury needs to reach two verdicts–one for each America.

Christien on May 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Sounds like Liar Liar

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 3:37 PM

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?

Exit analysis for you: We have no idea what the verdict is on the one count that the jury did rule on. What if it is not guilty and the deadlock on the other counts is 10 to 2 or 11 to 1 for acquittal? Would even this corrupt DoJ pursue a retrial with those kind of results in hand from this trial? Likely not.

NotCoach on May 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Am I a bad person for hoping he goes to jail for a very long time, regardless of the evidence?

Tomolena1 on May 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Just… get… all… these… people… the… hell… out… of… Greensboro.

We’d like our city back, please.

mankai on May 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Per Fox News, a juror sent a note to the judge asking “What dose unimous mean.”(sic)

byepartisan on May 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

In other words, no verdict today.

Ugly on May 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM

“We find the defendant to be a thoroughly reprehensible scumbag – which, unfortunately, is not actually a crime.”

mojo on May 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Per Fox News, a juror sent a note to the judge asking “What dose unimous mean.”(sic)

byepartisan on May 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Which of John Edwards’ “Two Americas” does this genius live in?

teke184 on May 31, 2012 at 4:05 PM

It’s been my experience that when a jury tells a judge they are hung, he usually refuses that answer at least once and sends them back for more deliberation. Don’t know the legalities.

slickwillie2001 on May 31, 2012 at 4:10 PM

OOps, I missed the o in count the first time I read heading. Gotta get my eyes checked.

chickasaw42 on May 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Keep the circus running until they come back with verdicts…

Silky needs to go away for awhile… he is a bad, bad man…

Khun Joe on May 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I think you put him in a cell with the hairbrush, but no mirror. That would really drive him nuts.

Flange on May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I would think mirror but no hairbrush would be the real torment.

TexasDan on May 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Holy macaroni

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Keep the circus running until they come back with verdicts…

Silky needs to go away for awhile… he is a bad, bad man…

Khun Joe on May 31, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Go read AP’s updates

Not guilty on one…hung jury on all other, mistrial declared.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Should have called it before the update.

I knew as soon as they came back with half a verdict and the judge sent them back, that it would turn into a fustercluck and the judge would give the defense its mistrial.

Not like he’s really guilty of anything other than hurting the pride of his supporters and scandalizing national politics (more?), but for all that effort, the sleaze just walks.

The Schaef on May 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Next, he’ll run for president, again.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Next, he’ll run for president, again.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

..can he be retried?

The War Planner on May 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Ok, whatever, let him go and let’s get crackin’ on the election.

jake49 on May 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

WTF…… Scooter Libby gets the green weenie for nothing
and this turd walks. . . .Complete bullshit.

Texyank on May 31, 2012 at 4:35 PM

HaHa

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

That Silky is as slippery as a greased pig for sure.

Philly on May 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

what a waste of taxpayer dollars . . . .move on to more important criminal trials please!

Pragmatic on May 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Am I a bad person for hoping he goes to jail for a very long time, regardless of the evidence?

Tomolena1 on May 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

He will live the rest of his days in a prison of his own device, bars or no.

Christien on May 31, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Now Obama doesn’t need to pardon him in January.

BTW – who will he pardon in January?

tomg51 on May 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

..can he be retried?

The War Planner on May 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Yes, on all counts except the one he was found not guilty of. But, I strongly doubt they’ll re-try.

TXUS on May 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

No justice for Elizabeth. Dems must be ecstatic.

Christien on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Mistrial declared

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

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:41 PM

HaHa

Uppereastside on May 31, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Leave it to another greasy pig to immediately gloat that another liberal of low character (but I repeat myself) is apparently beating the rap. You guys are as unpredictable as a glacier.

That’s fine. The verdict is still in. He’s still a soulless pig who shamelessly cheated on his dying wife.

CurtZHP on May 31, 2012 at 4:43 PM

the lsm is now wondering if mitt is going to touch this….

puhleeze

cmsinaz on May 31, 2012 at 4:45 PM

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