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Friday, June 1, 2012

John Edwards found not guilty

Former United States Senator from North Carolina and Democratic Party Presidential candidate John Edwards found NOT GUILTY on 1 count of illegal use of campaign funding, Mistrial declared on 5 other charges!!!
I was happy for him when I saw this on the news yesterday. It was morally wrong for him to cheat on his wife, have a baby with his mistress and spend federal funds on her (his mistress), but cheating is a man (and females too) thing. Guys do it all the time...BIG DEAL. I am not saying what he did was right, but it doesn't mean he should go to jail for 30 years for it.

If that was the case, EVERY Nigerian politician (and some leaders in third world countries) would spend 1000 years in jail for stealing govt funds and having mistresses, lol.

His political career is RUINED but I am glad he is a free man.

Jurors talked publicly for the first time today on "Good Morning America" about the sometimes heated exchanges inside the jury room, as the days ticked by and the pressure mounted for 12 strangers to come to a unanimous consensus about the legal culpability of a man whose moral failings were on full display.

"Everybody's got their own beliefs based off what they saw and they stood their ground, they stood by their decision and I respect that," said juror Jonathan Nunn, a maintenance technician who voted "not guilty" on all six counts.

The panel could agree only on Count 3 of the indictment, which dealt specifically with checks written by wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon in 2008.
John Edward, his daughter Kate who was ALWAYS there by her Dad's side and his parents.
On every other count, the jury fought it out, the majority unable to sway a steadfast minority convinced of Edwards' guilt.

"Twelve people, trying to get them all to see eye to eye on the same level, that's going to be hard in any aspect," Nunn told "GMA."

Nunn said "there were a couple of times" where tension and tempers rose in the jury room, but the panel "tried to keep level-headed," knowing it was their duty to try and form a consensus.

Many of the jurors believed the government had not presented a strong enough case linking Edwards to the money his backers shelled out to support mistress Rielle Hunter and his love child, Frances Quinn.

"I just felt that he didn't receive any of the money so you can't really charge him for money that he got. He didn't even get the money so I just didn't think he was guilty," said Sheila Lockwood, a hospital telephone operator who voted to acquit on all charges.

"There wasn't enough evidence there," Lockwood said, adding that she did not believe the case should have ever come to a courtroom in Greensboro, N.C.

The jurors with whom ABC News spoke believed the prosecution had not made its case, but said there was a small group of holdouts convinced of Edwards' guilt.

"I felt like the evidence just wasn't there," said juror Theresa Fuller, a heat press operator. "It could have been more. It could have been a lot more than what it was."

Jurors told Federal Judge Catherine Eagles yesterday they were finished deliberating all six counts. The judge and other parties assumed that meant the panel had reached a verdict, but the courtroom was briefly thrown into confusion when it was revealed they had a verdict on just one count.

Eagles read the panel an Allen Charge, insisting they go back to work to try to reach a consensus. Less than an hour later, the jury came back and admitted they were deadlocked.

The judge declared a mistrial on the five outstanding charges, but Justice Department sources told ABC News Thursday a new trial was unlikely.

Woohoo! Thank goodness that's over with. Now lets move on to the next scandal, lol.

For those who dont know the initial story:

Edwards met his mistress Rielle Hunter in a New York hotel bar in 2006 and they spent the night together. She soon joined his campaign, and despite a lack of filmmaking experience, the politician arranged a $250,000 contract for her to make a series of behind-the-scenes documentaries from the campaign trail.

Word of the affair eventually got back to Edwards’ wife. On Dec. 30, 2006, the day Edwards officially announced his bid for president at an event in his hometown of Chapel Hill, Elizabeth Edwards bumped into Hunter for the first time and became visibly upset, according to testimony. She told her husband to get rid of her, and while Hunter officially left the campaign, John Edwards continued to meet with her on the road.

Hunter became pregnant in the summer of 2007. As Hunter’s belly began to show that September, tabloid reporters began tailing her. Within weeks Andrew Young, John Edwards Aide claimed he was responsible for Hunter's pregnancy, then went ahead and set her up in a $2,700-a-month rental home not far from the Edwards estate in Chapel Hill, using the donated money.
In October 2007, a day after a tabloid reported the affair, Elizabeth Edwards blew up at her husband, according to testimony from former adviser Christina Reynolds. Edwards’ now-deceased wife stormed away from her husband at a private hangar, collapsing into a ball on the pavement. After composing herself in a nearby ladies room, Elizabeth Edwards ripped off her shirt and bra and screamed, “You don’t see me anymore!” As staffers scrambled to cover her up and whisk her into a car, her husband boarded a jet and headed to a campaign event in South Carolina.

That December, in an attempt to contain the scandal, Young issued a statement claiming the baby was his. Prosecutors presented phone records showing Edwards and Young – and Young and Baron – talked with each other that day and claimed they conspired to come up with the plan.
About a month later, Edwards’ presidential campaign began to fold with poor showings in the early presidential primary states. Even before he officially suspended his presidential campaign at the end of January 2008, Edwards had begun wooing the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for a spot in their administration, perhaps as vice president.

Meanwhile, Hunter was on the run with the Youngs. Baron let them stay at his vacation mansion in Aspen, Colo., and paid for them to live in a $20,000-a-month manor in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hunter gave birth to Francis Quinn Hunter in February 2008.
Records at trial showed Baron paid Hunter a $9,000 monthly cash allowance, on top of providing flights on private jets and stays at luxury resorts.
The deposits began in June 2008 – several months after Edwards ended his White House run – and continued until December 2008, two months after Baron died.
The timing of the payments may have been important. The defense argued most of the money was spent after Edwards ended his presidential bid. Prosecutors claim Edwards was still seeking the Democratic vice presidential nomination or a future appointment as attorney general.
Although Edwards’ attorneys have conceded he had some limited knowledge of Baron’s support for Hunter, they deny he knew anything about $725,000 provided to Young by the wealthy heiress Mellon, an ardent supporter of Edwards’ campaign.

Edwards admitted to the Hunter affair in August 2008. Days later, he met with Young briefly on a secluded road near the Edwards estate outside Chapel Hill. According to Young’s testimony at the trail, the two talked about the secret checks Mellon had provided to the campaign aide.
“I didn’t know about these, did you?” Edwards said, according to Young.

Worried he was being taped, Young lied and said no. Young told Edwards he had kept evidence of the cover-up, including voicemails, emails and the tape that purportedly showed Edwards and Hunter having sex. He said he threatened to go public if Edwards’ didn’t come clean about the baby.
“You can’t hurt me, Andrew,” Edwards told Young as he opened the door to get out, Young said. “You can’t hurt me.”

Edwards announced he was the father of Francis Quinn Hunter in January 2010, nearly two years after she was born and his candidacy ended.
Elizabeth Edwards died in late 2010.

On May 24, 2011, ABC News and The New York Times reported that the United States Department of Justice conducted a two-year investigation into whether Edwards used more than $1 million in political donations to hide his affair and planned to pursue criminal charges against Edwards for alleged violations of campaign laws.
On June 3, 2011, Edwards was indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on six felony charges, including four counts of collecting illegal campaign contributions, one count of conspiracy and one count of making false statements. If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

After postponing the start of the trial while Edwards was treated for a heart condition in February 2012, Judge Catherine Eagles of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina scheduled jury selection to begin on April 12, 2012.
In a related development, on March 13, 2012, the Federal Election Commission ruled that Edwards' campaign must repay $2.1 million in matching federal funds. Edwards' lawyers claimed the money was used, and that the campaign did not receive all the funds to which it was entitled, but the commission rejected the arguments.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were seated, and opening arguments began April 23, 2012.
Closing arguments took place May 17 and the case went to the jury May 18.

On May 31, 2012, Edwards was found not guilty on count #3: illegal use of campaign funding (contributions from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon), while mistrials were declared on all other counts against him.


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