Election Law

DOJ Drops Rest of Case Against John Edwards

Essentially admitting defeat after a federal jury last month acquitted former Sen. John Edwards on one count in a campaign-fraud case and deadlocked on five others, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to retry the onetime Democratic presidential candidate.

Edwards had been accused of using $1 million in campaign funds to try to hide the existence of his mistress, with whom he eventually had an out-of-wedlock child, from not only his wife but voters, in what his counsel and some observers saw as a stretch under current election law. However, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles on Wednesday dismissed the remaining five counts at the DOJ’s request, according to CNN and msnbc.

“As we stated in our motions and arguments in court, the novel theory of campaign law violations charged by the Justice Department is not a crime,” said Edwards’ defense team in a written statement. “It should be addressed, if at all, by the Federal Election Commission, which our evidence showed seems to have agreed with our views on the law. While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply. We are confident that the outcome of any new trial would have been the same.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “John Edwards Found Not Guilty on 1 Count in Campaign-Fraud Case; Jury Deadlocks on 5 Others”

ABAJournal.com: “Edwards Verdict Is Another Big Loss for DOJ’s Public Integrity Section; Will He Be Retried?”

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