John Edwards Jury Resumes Deliberation for 7th Day

May 29, 2012

ABC News on May 29, 2012 released the following:

Associated Press

“The jury in the John Edwards campaign corruption trial is deliberating for a seventh day after a judge gave the panel a stern warning not to talk about the case over the weekend.

The jurors reconvened Tuesday morning. The judge met in a closed courtroom Friday with attorneys to talk about a problem with a juror, but she did not elaborate.

The judge again met with the attorneys behind closed doors Tuesday, but their discussions were not made public.

Some of the alternate jurors wore matching shirts last week, and one of them was said to be flirting with Edwards.

Edwards faces six charges involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


John Edwards trial judge meets with attorneys on ‘juror matter’

May 26, 2012

Los Angeles Times on May 25, 2012 released the following:

“The panel is sent home for the Memorial Day weekend after six days of deliberations with no verdict in the campaign finance case.

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The federal judge in the John Edwards trial closed her courtroom Friday afternoon to deal with what she called a “juror matter,” and then sent the jury home for the Memorial Day weekend with no verdict reached.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles did not disclose what she and lawyers for both sides discussed during the 35 minutes the courtroom was closed to reporters and spectators. Jurors will return for a seventh day of deliberations Tuesday morning.

Before deliberations began on May 18, the jury foreman, a financial consultant, told the judge that he might have an upcoming scheduling conflict. On Friday, Eagles told lawyers for both sides to arrive early Tuesday in case she needs to discuss a juror matter with them.

As she does at the close of each session, Eagles reminded jurors not to discuss the case with anyone — even fellow jurors — outside the jury room, and to avoid all media reports about the trial.

The jury of eight men and four women must decide whether $925,000 in payments from two wealthy patrons were illegal campaign contributions during Edwards’ failed race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Edwards contends the payments were private gifts not directly related to the campaign.

After a sixth day of deliberations, it was not possible to determine whether the jury was divided over guilt versus acquittal, or merely being thorough and meticulous. The longer deliberations drag on, the greater the likelihood of a split verdict or, if disagreements cannot be resolved, a hung jury.

Jurors have asked to review more than 60 trial exhibits focusing on payments made to hide Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter, whom he had hired as a campaign videographer. The jury has met for about 34 hours over six days, after having listened to 31 witnesses and examined hundreds of exhibits during the monthlong trial.

Jurors troop in and out of the wood-paneled courtroom a couple of times a day, a collection of ordinary citizens in jeans, slacks and summer dresses. Some looked weary Friday. Others appeared restless. The faces of one or two jurors suggested mild annoyance.

Edwards, 58, unfailingly neat and trim in a dark suit, has studied jurors closely during their brief courtroom appearances over the past week, appraising their demeanor from his regular seat at the defense table.

The former U.S. senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee is charged with six counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted and sentenced to maximum penalties.

Jurors’ requests for exhibits this week indicate they have plowed through the first two counts, which involve $725,000 in checks from billionaire heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, an ardent Edwards supporter. Jurors now appear to be finishing up deliberations over the next two counts, involving payments from the late Fred Baron, a wealthy Texas lawyer who was Edwards’ national finance chairman.

Prosecutors say Edwards orchestrated the payments to cover up the affair and prevent his campaign from collapsing in scandal. The defense says the payments were intended to hide the affair from Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who had grown increasingly suspicious of her husband.

The other two counts against Edwards accuse him of causing his campaign to file false finance reports and conspiring to accept and conceal illegal contributions through “trick, scheme or device.”

The jurors must reach a unanimous decision on each count to convict. Eagles has instructed them that prosecutors don’t have to prove that the sole purpose of the payments was to influence the election — only that there was a “real purpose or an intended purpose” to do so.

However, Eagles also told the jurors: “If the donor would have made the gift or payment notwithstanding the election, it does not become a contribution merely because the gift or payment might have some impact on the election.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Edwards Fights Campaign Finance Case

October 26, 2011
FARC
Steve Exum/Getty Images
John Edwards leaving court after his indictment in June.

The New York Times on October 25, 2011 released the following:

“By KIM SEVERSON

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Lawyers for John Edwards will head to federal court here on Wednesday to ask a judge to dismiss charges that he violated campaign finance laws by using money from two wealthy benefactors to support his pregnant mistress during his run for the presidency in 2008.

His lawyers contend that the government has exceeded the reach of federal election laws.

In a series of filings, Mr. Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina and the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, argued that the nearly $1 million that was used to keep secret his relationship with Rielle Hunter, a campaign videographer with whom he had a daughter, came in the form of gifts — not campaign contributions.

Prosecutors argue that the payments were in fact campaign contributions because they were intended to help hide information that could damage Mr. Edwards politically. They also say Mr. Edwards filed false campaign reports to cover up the payments.

Mr. Edwards, 58, and his lawyers have argued that if the prosecutors’ theory is upheld, then campaigns could use legal contributions “to pay for a candidate to conceal a mistress, conceal an unwed pregnant daughter and, one would imagine, even to pay for an abortion to hide evidence of an affair.”

The hearing here on Wednesday in Federal District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina is expected to last all day and offer a good preview of the aggressive legal chess game that Mr. Edwards is preparing to play if the charges are allowed to stand and the trial opens in January.

Mr. Edwards’s lawyers will argue that prosecutors are using federal conspiracy laws incorrectly and that the entire case is a politically motivated abuse of prosecutorial discretion.

Allowing the trial to proceed would turn election law on its head, Mr. Edwards’s lawyers contend, making ambiguous for all candidates what does or does not count as a campaign contribution.

The theory is backed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit organization founded to fight Congressional corruption that often serves as a counterpoint to more conservative watchdog groups.

Over objections by prosecutors, a federal judge this month allowed the group to file a brief that was critical of the charges.

Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, have complained about conflicts of interest on Mr. Edwards’s legal team, which has been in flux. In August, Abbe Lowell, a lawyer who has represented several politicians, including former Senator John Ensign, Republican of Nevada, and who was the chief investigative counsel for House Democrats during the impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, took over from a team that included a former White House counsel, Greg Craig.

Mr. Lowell had represented Lisa Blue-Baron, the widow of Mr. Edwards’s national campaign finance chairman, Fred Baron, who was one of the two people who provided Mr. Edwards the money in question. Mr. Lowell assisted Mrs. Baron when she was interviewed by the F.B.I. in the case and later when she testified before the grand jury that indicted Mr. Edwards in June on six counts.

Mr. Edwards’s legal team took another hit this month when Wade Smith, a longtime friend of Mr. Edwards and a prominent Raleigh lawyer who has been at the forefront of the case, stepped down. Early in the investigation, Mr. Smith had conversations with a lawyer for Rachel Mellon, the 101-year-old banking heiress, known as Bunny, who provided as much as $750,000 that was used in part to support Ms. Rielle.

Because of that, Mr. Smith could potentially be a witness in the case.

Defense lawyers have, in turn, been unhappy with the prosecution. They charged in court papers that the former United States attorney, George Holding, a Republican appointee of President George W. Bush who stayed on after the Democrats took the White House in 2008 to finish the Edwards case, was politically hostile to Mr. Edwards and pursued the case to further his political ambitions.

Mr. Holding recently resigned to run for Congress next year.

Prosecutors countered that the defense argument was based on “speculative political theories and unfortunate attacks” and that political motivations did not matter since other prosecutors at the Justice Department, including Lanny Breuer, an assistant attorney general appointed by President Obama, approved the indictment.

If convicted, Mr. Edwards faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


John Edwards’s Federal Trial Over Use of Campaign Funds Moved to January

September 8, 2011

Bloomberg on September 7, 2011 released the following:

“Former U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards, accused of accepting illegal campaign contributions to hide an extramarital affair, had his trial moved to January from October.

U.S. Chief District Judge James A. Beaty Jr. in Winston- Salem, North Carolina, yesterday granted a request by Edwards to postpone the trial because of the volume of material that must be reviewed.

“A continuance is necessary in order to ensure defendant adequate time for preparation for trial, given the circumstances in this case, particularly the unusually large volume of discovery to be reviewed,” Beaty said.

Edwards, who was Democrat John Kerry’s running mate in the 2004 election, was the subject of a two-year investigation into whether he used more than $925,000 in contributions to conceal his relationship with filmmaker Rielle Hunter.

The former North Carolina senator on Sept 6 sought to dismiss the charges, saying prosecutors abused their authority and that the grand jury proceedings were flawed and the indictment failed to state an actual crime. Beaty delayed until January consideration of Edwards’s request to dismiss the case

The case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-00161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro).”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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