Hey guys, John Edwards has a great idea! How about we just forget all about that pesky federal case, which alleges he used nearly $1 million in campaign contributions to support his pregnant mistress. This week, Edwards filed documents asking that the case be dismissed on the grounds that his actions, while undeniably sleazy, weren't criminal, and the case was brought against him for political reasons.
As mentioned earlier, a key question in the case is whether or not Edwards believed contributions made by Bunny Mellon and Fred Baron were intended to be campaign funds, or just a couple of hundred dollars passed between friends. The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the money wasn't filed as a campaign contribution, and now in hundred of pages of documents, Edwards' lawyers argue that the money was given to him for personal reasons. Though, as prosecutors claim, a candidate who's presented himself as a family man certainly has political reasons for not wanting the world to know that he's cheating on his cancer-stricken wife. The defense explains:
"Common sense and basic human nature establish that Mr. Edwards had a number of non-campaign-related, purely personal reasons to conceal his relationship with Ms. Hunter ... Like most men in his situation, he naturally wanted to shield his extramarital affair from public view to avoid hurting his wife and children and to protect his reputation. Likewise, Ms. Hunter understandably wanted to carry out her pregnancy away from the stress of a scandal. Those concerns would exist whether or not Mr. Edwards was a candidate."
You see, Edwards just wanted to shield his family from harm — but not enough to uphold the vows he made to his wife. The lawyers also claim that the case, "is about politics." The prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney George Holding, was appointed by George W. Bush and is now running for Congress as a Republican. After the Edwards investigation ended, President Obama had him replaced. Yet, even Edwards' attorneys couldn't deny that his personal, not professional, dickishness was the stuff of legend:
"While much can be said in questioning how Mr. Edwards conducted himself throughout this saga, the allegations in the Indictment that he violated campaign finance laws should not be among them ... The distinction between a wrong and a crime is at the heart of this case."
It seems we'll have to wait a few more months to learn if Edwards actions were criminal, or just creepy. Yesterday his trial was moved from the court's current session to the one that begins in January, according to the Associated Press. A judge ruled that defense lawyers need more time to process 400,000 pages of material the government amassed in its case against Edwards.