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Archive for May, 2012

Column: John Edwards Case Just Didn’t Feel Right

 
 

Allan Lengel

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some federal cases are too complicated for jurors. Some may be borderline illegal. And some may end up being a waste of taxpayer money.

The trial against ex-presidential hopeful John Edwards was probably all of the above.  A jury on Thursday acquitted him on one count and deadlocked on five others in a scandal that involved using nearly $1 million  — in what should have been declared as campaign funds — to help hide an extra-marital affair during the 2008 campaign.

It had a lot of gossip appeal, which made for good press, but in the end it seemed to lack the appropriate outrage quotient necessary to get all the jurors to jump into the guilty pool.

Who’s the loser.

The list is long.

For one, Edwards paid some serious bucks for a top-flight legal team.

Additionally, his reputation, which was already pretty poor, got tarnished even more. If you had any doubts that he was a sleaze, the trial helped put those to rest.

And he had to bear responsibility watching his family suffer through the trial.

The Justice Department once again looks bad. Granted, federal prosecutors shouldn’t fear losing. They should just worry about standing on solid ground. Some how, this one didn’t ever feel right to me.

The feds should have gone after some hefty civil fines. Edwards has lots of money. He would have gladly paid to make it go away. Maybe the money could have been put to good use.

And then there’s the former U.S. Attorney George Holding, who stuck around in his post to make sure that Edwards was indicted. He’s running for Congress and is expected to win.

But there’s talk of him jumping into the Senate race in North Carolina in 2014. A conviction of Edwards could only have bolstered his political capital. Now, sorry George, no added points for you.

So at this point, the question is: Should the feds go for a retrial?

I say absolutely not. In a case like this, one bite of the apple is enough. It’s not like the Rod Blagojevich case, which was certainly worth going after a second time after Blago was convicted on only 1 of 24 counts. The feds nailed him the second time.

This one is not worth going after again. Was Edwards a sneak? Yes. Is he a sleaze? Yes.

As the Washington Post noted:

“The mixed result in a trial that laid bare Edwards’s sexual indiscretions and serial deceptions came after nine days of jury deliberations.”

There are bigger crimes out there. And he’s paid  for his digressions. Let’s move on, and let’s forget we knew a Presidential candidate named John Edwards.

He is not worthy.

 OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

John Edwards Acquitted on One Count as Jury Deadlocks on Five Others and Judge Declares Mistrial


Edwards after the trial/ from NBC newscast

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Johnny Reid Edwards, a honey-voiced North Carolina lawyer who parlayed his boyish good looks and inspiring personal history as the son of a mill-worker into a meteoric political rise, was acquitted of one count Thursday in a corruption case, as the judge declared a mistrial on five other charges on which the jury was deadlocked.

The mixed result in a trial that laid bare Edwards’s sexual indiscretions and serial deceptions came after nine days of jury deliberations.

When the decision was read by the clerk, Edwards’s face betrayed no emotion, but he slumped back in his chair. Moments later, he turned to his parents, Wallace and Bobbie Edwards, and they smiled at him broadly.

When the jury left the courtroom, Edwards rose and leaned across the bar in a long embrace with his daughter, Cate Edwards, who has been in the courtroom almost every day through a grueling trial.

To read the full story click here.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Justice Department Investigates BP for Allegedly Lying to Congress

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has estimated that about 4.1 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by BP in 2010 were never cleaned up.

Now the Justice Department is investigating whether BP execs lied to Congress about the total amount of oil leaked, reported the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

The accidental explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured the Macondo well. It took months to successfully cap the well as engineers scrambled desperately to contain the powerful force of spewing oil.

To read more click here.

Secret Service Agent Suspended for Reckless Driving in North Carolina, after Citizen Posts Tape to YouTube

Photo from video

 
Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Secret Service agent is in trouble, but this time there are no fast women… only fast cars.

An agent was put on administrative leave after a private citizen posted video on YouTube showing him driving recklessly on the North Carolina interstate.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the agent was on duty when his Dodge Charger was caught on tape, weaving across lanes on I-77 and seeming to play a dangerous game of “tag” with a van, even flashing a blue light to pretend to pull over the van before speeding away.

The videographer can be heard on the tape saying “He’s going 80 mph in a 55 zone — with no lights on,” before the Dodge Charger sped from I-77 to I-485, and later on a two-lane road going even faster.

Russ Nelson, special agent in charge of the Secret Service in Charlotte, said the agency is investigating the incident.

To read more click here.

Judge Sends Alternate Jurors Home from John Edwards Trial

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

If you’ve been waiting for an update in the John Edwards campaign finance corruption trial, here it is : Purple.

Judge Catherine Eagles already had her hands full with the media zoo around Edwards, before the alternate jurors seemed to get sassy. One kept flipping her  hair in his direction, and all were wearing the same color some days. Wednesday they all wore purple.

Yesterday Judge Eagles sent the alternate jurors home, a move some legal experts would have expected her to make in the first place, according to the Washington Post.

“Everyone in the courtroom is going to miss your cheerful faces, and we’ll regret not knowing the color for tomorrow,” Eagles said in her farewell.

To read more, click here.

New Head of North Fla. FBI is a Rising Star

Michael Steinbach/ fbi photo

By Jim Schoettler
Florida Times-Union

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On his first day at work, Mike Steinbach sat at a Chicago Denny’s drinking coffee, reading a newspaper and covertly protecting a nearby federal witness from a possible hit attempt by the mob.

“I thought, ‘Holy moly.’ This is a pretty good deal,” Steinbach said. “I knew I had made the right [career] choice.”

The undercover surveillance assignment was Steinbach’s welcome to the FBI.

Seventeen years later, after adding the capture of a serial killer, an interview with a 9/11 facilitator and breaking bread with Israelis and Palestinians to his many accomplishments, Steinbach has arrived in Jacksonville.

To read the full story click here.

 

FBI Announces Android Version of Popular Child ID App

fbi photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Friday, May 25 was National Missing Children’s Day in the U.S. and in observance, the FBI announced the release of a new version of its Child ID App for Android mobile phones.

The popular iPhone version of the same app has been downloaded 121,000 times since its 2011 launch.

The free app allows immediate access and sharing of lost kids’ profiles between parents and authorities. The new app can be downloaded for free through Google Play, and the iPhone version is available via iTunes.

 

 

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