Jury Acquits Firebrand Fieger of Campaign Charges
Posted Jun 2, 2008 2:22 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough
Federal jurors in Detroit have found high-profile and controversial lawyer Geoffrey Fieger not guilty of violating campaign finance laws.
The Michigan trial lawyer was accused of illegally funneling $127,000 in 2004 to the campaign of then-presidential candidate John Edwards.
The Associated Press reports that jurors heard 18 days of testimony and deliberated four days before returning verdicts Monday. Fieger's partner Ven Johnson also was acquitted of all charges.
The Detroit News described a "joyous mob scene" outside the federal courthouse as Fieger and his celebrity lawyer Gerry Spence embraced jurors. Prosecutors, however, left disappointed.
Fieger is quoted saying, "I hope this will put an end to political prosecutions in the age of Mr. Bush." Fieger had accused the Bush administration of targeting him for political reasons. "I was scared to death," Fieger told the paper. "It would have been the end, and I would have gone to prison."
Fieger and Johnson were accused of illegally reimbursing employees for more than $100,000 in political donations to Edwards. But Fieger testified in his own defense, telling jurors that he researched the reimbursements and concluded that they were legal.
Read more about Fieger in the December ABA Journal article, "Motormouth."