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John Edwards Campaign Finance Trial Begins

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In like a lion, out like a lamb for former golden boy John Edwards. Even if he beats criminal charges of campaign finance corruption, Edwards will be hard-pressed to ever recover his public image.

The L.A. Times reports that former North Carolina Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards goes to trial on Monday, having plead not-guilty to 6 criminal counts of campaign finance violations. If he loses the case, he faces up to 30 years jail time and $1.5 million in fines, according to the Times.

Edwards’ defense team contends that bills paid by 101-year-old Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the Virginian banking heiress, and the late Fred Baron, a Texas lawyer, were personal gifts from friends and not campaign contributions.

Used to support and conceal Edwards’ mistress and their child during the 2008 Presidential campaign, the funds were also alleged to have bought a “dream house” for Edwards’ aide Andrew Young, who became embroiled in the scandal by claiming to be the father of Edwards’ love child to divert the press.

“This case is significant both legally and politically,” Kenneth Gross, a Washington ethics lawyer, told the L.A. Times. “This is the first criminal case dealing with an excessive gift, particularly a gift not ever going to a campaign, and spent for purposes seemingly unrelated to a campaign.”

The trial is expected to last 6 weeks.

To read more click here.

 


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