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The jury returned a not guilty verdict on the key charge in the federal campaign corruption trial against Mr. Edwards – that the former Democratic presidential candidate allegedly helped to illegally funnel over $700,000 in hush money from heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. The jury deadlocked on the five other counts against him, and Judge Catherine Eagles declared a mistrial.
More broadly, though, the prosecution's loss – combined with the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed freer flow of campaign funds in the political system – appears to set a high bar for what constitutes illegal behavior in the realm of campaign funding.
At its core, the case is about whether Edwards, once a rising star in Democratic politics, “willfully” took and concealed the money to protect his presidential campaign. Some legal analysts say the government’s unusual decision to bring criminal charges against Edwards even after the formal civil-elections body, the FEC, failed to come to any conclusions about whether the donations were illegal could have chilled American politics.
As it is, his acquittal spoke just as loudly about the role of money in American politics, especially at the presidential level, others said. “If this is a legal precedent, we will rue this day,” the conservative columnist David Frum said, suggesting that the verdict opens the doors wide open to “what people who might be president can do with money that donors give them.”
Edwards, a former US senator who was the vice presidential nominee in 2004 and an early favorite for the 2008 presidential nomination, had an option to take a plea bargain instead of going to trial, but only if he would agree to some jail time and forego his law license. He refused. If he had been convicted on all counts, he would have faced as many as 30 years in prison.
originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
I think there are numerous questions this case brings up. The rest of the Edwards story, even though he was found innocent was that he lost his standing as a viable liberal candidate. He was finished, the liberals left him in droves. If Trump manages
to avoid legal charges and come out of this unscathed legally, how will be be treated by his base, conservatives? Will they recognize Trump for what he is and give him the same treatment liberals gave to Edwards or will they continue to rally around him.
Is the conservative community so insecure in it's self, so fearful that their principles will not stand on their own merit that they will continue to support this guy or will they drop him and stand on their own.
originally posted by: xuenchen
originally posted by: DanDanDat
Why did Cohen buckle so easily?
Not hard to buckle when you are being blackmailed.
He buckled because his lawyer is also a known scumbag and Clinton lackey, Lanny Davis. Davis had zero interest in helping Cohen as his client, and to show that one only needs to look at the fact that Davis allowed Cohen to plead to something that isnt even a crime (the campaign finance charge).........great lawyering Lanny, you pos.