The rumors have circulated for some time now that John Edward, the former presidential candidate caught with a mistress and love child while his wife was ill and then dying with cancer, would be indicted by federal prosecutors. That shoe finally dropped this week, but the case seems much weaker than expected and the prosecutors are looking a little like jerks for bringing it.
The prosecutors are charging that Edwards used two supporters to funnel $925,000 to his mistress. Former Edward’s campaign finance chairman Fred Baron and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, of the Mellon Bank family, paid Ms Hunter $925,000 according to the indictment. The prosecutors allege the money was in essence a diverted campaign contribution used to prevent public disclosure of the affair thus cratering his candidacy. One big problem for prosecutors is Fred Baron died in 2008 and Bunny Mellon is 100 years old.
But wait a minute—-this legal theory has NEVER been used before in a campaign finance case. If successful, it would subject virtually every transaction involving virtually every person who knows a candidate for office to an endless risk of prosecutorial witch-hunting. It is the proverbial ‘when did you quit beating your wife’ allegation.
Now maybe the prosecutors have some chain of evidence to support their claims they are not revealing and if so that might make a difference. But if they do not, then this is one more reason to repeal the special prosecutor law which has been the American version of the Inquisition far too long.
- Glance: A look at the charges against John Edwards (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Pitfalls abound for prosecutors in Edwards case (sfgate.com)
- Edwards Case No Slam Dunk for Prosecutors, Legal Experts Say (foxnews.com)