- The Six Count Indictment: US v. John Reid Edwards.
The indictment, predictably, is a retelling of the cover up of Edward's affair with Rielle Hunter. Significant and new are the descriptions of specific activities that Edwards himself directed others to misuse campaign contributions, $925,000, i.e. that Edwards' aid's wife falsified check memo lines for such things as antiques and furniture. Purportedly these checks were written as campaign expenses but in actuality it is alleged that these were continuing payments to Rielle Hunter and for her benefit while pregnant with Edwards' child. These are the kinds of details that, if proven, a jury will convict on in a heartbeat. The rest of the indictment details examples of his cover up, from chartered flights to conversations, showing the arrogance of a man using campaign funds for personal gain, and he did so because he thought the law doesn't apply to him. How else to explain the obvious abuses he took with federal campaign contributions? It is not like he lacks money.
The Washington Post reports that:
the payments, which covered Hunter’s living, medical and other expenses, are at the heart of the dispute. Prosecutors say that they were campaign contributions because they were meant to prevent Edwards’s 2008 presidential bid from collapsing if the affair was discovered. They say the contributions also exceeded legal limits.
If it were not paying for Reille Hunter's life style and pregnancy with campaign contributions that motivated a team of prosecutors to indict, then it was how Edwards suggested a staffer claim the child as his own. Later, Edwards directed the campaign to pay the staffer and then to pay hush money to Reille Hunter. How could the same man who claimed to be the champion of "sons of mill workers across this country" have drifted so far away from the basic values of honesty and integrity that many believed they had seen in him?
"And what we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost."
- Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men
Friday John Edwards was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Raleigh. News agencies across the country are reporting on the spectacular fall of a once favored son of the South: Tennessean, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Hufffington Post blog, and the WSJ blog.
Reille Hunter told her side in an interview with GQ magazine last April.