Friday, August 15, 2008

A Story of John Edwards and Rielle Hunter That Will Likely Never Be Written Update 5-31-12


Photo Courtesy of Washington Post
Q: Does Legal Pub have some relationship with John Edwards?

A: No.

Q: Then why has Legal Pub avoided doing a story on the affair?

A: One will be written; however, it appears to be more of a personal issue then a legal issue.

Q: When?

A: Perhaps soon. But again, you may not like what it is written. Again, it appears more of a personal issue then a legal issue. So if a story would be written, it would go something like this:


It is hard to avoid reading something about John Edwards' political action committee allegedly paying Rielle Hunter a lot of money. ($100,000!) But what is the big deal? Political action committees pay independent contractors to make campaign videos all the time? Granted, what complicates this case is that Rielle Hunter is attractive and is alleged to be John Edward's girl friend. (For those taking notes, admittedly, girlfriends are generally taboo for married politicians.) But that alone does not mean anything illegal occurred. Fine, another source of controversy may be that Rielle was paid an additional $14,000 after she stopped working for the campaign. But there is an explanation. The $14,000 was in exchange for 100 hours of unused campaign videotape. The $14,000 payment was apparently made in April of 2007. But again, this may be just compensation. The $14,000 was paid a few months before the third complication. Specifically, sometime after the $14,000 payment, Edwards' chief fundraiser (Fred Baron) began sending money to Rielle. While this may invoke scrutiny, this in and of itself is not illegal if campaign funds were not used. If it is legitimate compensation, then it may still possibly be appropriate; however, the analysis becomes more complicated. The fourth complication is that Rielle Hunter was pregnant during the time Baron made payments to Rielle. Again, while this makes for interesting press, the baby is apparently not John Edward's child. So why is this public business?

So what shame does Edwards deserve? Edwards has already publicly acknowledged he had an affair in 2006 with Rielle. Obviously, the public humiliation and the effect on his family is real punishment. While morality may be an issue, no laws were broken. Edwards denied any knowledge of the payments by Fred Baron to Rielle. (If the $14,000 payment to Rielle came from Edwards' OneAmerica political action committee fund, those expenditures would be governed by U.S. election laws. Knowingly converting money from a political action committee for personal use could be wrong but to date there is no such evidence. Furthermore, the $14,000 paid to Rielle Hunter could be legitimate compensation for the 100 hours of videotape excerpts that were not part of four short Web videos she had produced in 2006. One can not jump to the conclusion that the political action committee was paying Rielle to be quiet about the affair. The compensation may have been totally appropriate and legal.)
On August 8, 2008, Edwards publicly explained that he ended the affair and confessed to his wife Elizabeth in 2006. While Hunter appeared at campaign events in the final days of December, that does not mean that the affair continued. Rielle was reportedly present at his formal campaign announcement in New Orleans. Edwards and Hunter spent time together in 2006, traveling the world and the country but that does not necessarily mean that the affair continued.


Senator Edwards apparently has no plans to publicly discuss the affair. Understandably, he needs to work on repairing his family. Edwards denies that Hunter was paid to cover up the affair. There is no reason not to take Edwards at his word. Edwards did not know Baron sent money to her. The father of the baby is apparently not Edwards. Another Edwards staffer claimed to be the father of Hunter's daughter who was born in February 2008. A child does not choose its parents and there is no reason for the child to be the subject of public scrutiny.
Baron has explained that no campaign funds were used to make any illegal payments. Hunter apparently was not working for the campaign when Baron started giving her money. John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards were apparently not aware that Baron was sending the funds. Condone Senator Edward's morals if you like, but don't accuse him of crimes that have not been committed.

Senator Edwards, while your conduct is disappointing, you deserve fair treatment. There is no evidence that you committed any legal offense. Your adultery is best left for you, your wife, your family and for God to judge outside the presence of public scrutiny. Good luck. You are likely going to need it.

Q: I see. My advice to you is don't bother writing the article. It is not what people want to hear.

A: Oh, I see...

Update 5-14-2012:   How about this instead? Rielle Hunter's employment not only cost Senator Edwards the Vice Presidential candidacy, he is now on trial with a possibility of serving jail time.  How could this all come to pass?  Well, despite Hunter's lack of film making experience, she secured a $250,000 contract to make a series of behind-the-scenes documentaries from the campaign trail. While Edwards' aides criticized her work as unprofessional, the job gave Hunter a reason to travel with the candidate while his wife was home in North Carolina fighting breast cancer. When Elizabeth Edwards learned of the affair, Hunter lost her job. But Edwards and his mistress continued to meet on the campaign trail. In the summer of 2007, Rielle became pregnant. 
As Hunter's belly grew, so did the maliciousness of the tabloid reporters.   Hunter tried to hide in North Carolina by moving in with one of Edwards' most loyal aides, Andrew Young.  Within weeks, the Youngs set up Hunter in a $2,700-a-month rental home not far from the Edwards estate. As Edward's child became a reality so did charges for improper use of campaign funds.  Now, Edwards is involved in the trial of the century.
Update 5-31-2012:  John Edwards has been found not guilty on count 3 in the trial on whether the 2008 presidential candidate violated campaign finance laws. The judge has declared a mistrial on the remaining five counts. This means Edwards was found not guilty on the charge involving the contributions from Mellon.






21 comments:

blond bombshell said...

Thank you. This was worth the wait. I agree Edwards screwed up (which makes pregnancy impossible, right?) But I don't think he committed any crime. This is between him and his wife.

Shell

Anonymous said...

At least Edwards chose a cute one.

Anonymous said...

Well, he chose a working girl!

Anonymous said...

Well, he chose a working girl!

Anonymous said...

I thought PACs couldn't fund political advertising. And since they hooked up before, he just found a way to make his supporters pay for middle-aged lust.

Ms Calabaza said...

Shell,

I'd bet ya that baby is his.

Anonymous said...

It may not technically be political advertising that was paid for. Furthermore, Baron apparently says no PAC funds were used...

Anonymous said...

Baby may indeed belong to another employee of the campaign who was married to someone else!

blond bombshell said...

Ms. C., I was just making fun of the eroneous male belief that a woman can't get pregnant while on top...

Shell

california surfer dude said...

What do you mean erroneous belief? You mean you can get pregnant with the woman on top?

Surfer Dude

Joel A. Brodsky said...

The US attitude toward sexual fidelity of its leaders and politicians is unique. For example in France a successful man is expected to have a mistress. It is so expected that a mans wife would be embarrassed to find that her husband lacks a publicly known mistress, because it would mean her husband is not a successful and powerful man. In most other European countries a politicians extramarital sex life is considered irrelevant. Why are we in the US so fixated on this issue? I have some ideas, but suffice it to say I would rather have Bill Clinton back in the White House, with Monica as his full time private intern, than have that mental midget George W. Bush with his fidelity to his wife.

sally said...

I for one am glad it was written.


Sally

sally said...

I for one am glad it was written.


Sally

Anonymous said...

Not me. Edwards should of been V.P.

Anonymous said...

First fair article I have read on the subject. Never thought it would be written by some one who usually sides with the Republican party type of views...

Anonymous said...

There is NO reason to take him at his word - his "confession" was full of yet more untruths - And of course he fathered Rielle's baby. Anybody who thinks otherwise is extremely gullible. If it weren't his there would be no need for the continuing $$$ hush money and all the extraordinary efforts of Edwards' rich pals.

This won't be over until he cries Uncle and acknowledges the baby as his. Even all his wealthy lawyer friends can't get him out of this mess.

As to the money trail and potential financial improprieties, time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many folks feel this is Edwards kid? Does the kid come the hair the same way? Have a sheepish grin?

What makes you thin Edwards was the only man sleeping with this woman? DNA will give us an answer...

Joe Republican said...

Seems like someone is naive at LP. Edwards has lied almost every time he opens his mouth, so no surprise when it comes out many years from now that this is his kid. While Edwards says he is happy to provide his "breck girl" hair for DNA testing, he already got his mistress to reject DNA testing on the baby. Some nice defensive work by Edwards the attorney.

Right Winger said...

Brodsky, you leftist, go to France if you want everyone to have a mistress. And you are about the only one around who has not tired of seeing that heavy intern gal on TV.

Anonymous said...

Let's suppose it is Edwards kid, so what? What business is it of the public to make this little child's life a topic of public discussion. Did she choose her parents? No! Give it up. Edwards is yesterdays news.

Legal Pub said...

Update 4-25-12: John Edwards' trial is underway. His former handyman and stand-in baby daddy (Andrew Young) testified as to numerous lies he’d told on behalf of the former U.S. Senator. Trial is taking place in the federal court house in Greensboro, North Carolina. Edwards, 58, is accused of soliciting $900,000 in illegal campaign funds from two wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress during the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Young testified how Edwards persuaded him to claim paternity for the child Edwards had fathered with Rielle Hunter. He also testified that his motivation for agreeing to do such a thing was because he wanted his friend to become president because a lot of benefits go along with such a position.


Prosecutors claim Edwards knowingly broke the law by using illegal campaign donations to keep his mistress quiet. Edwards denies all allegations of wrongdoing.