John Edwards not guilty of illegal campaign contributions; mistrial on other charges

May 31, 2012

CNN on May 31, 2012 released the following:

“[Updated at 4:31 p.m. ET] The judge in the John Edwards trial has declared a mistrial on all counts except for the one on which the jury found the former presidential candidate not guilty, CNN producers in the courtroom said Thursday.

[Updated at 4:24 p.m. ET] The jury in the John Edwards trial has found the former presidential candidate not guilty on count three of accepting illegal campaign contributions from heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in 2008.

The jury said it was deadlocked on the other charges.

That was the sole count the jury had earlier that they had reached a unanimous verdict on. The jury was still deadlocked on the other charges.

The Justice Department will now have to decide whether to try him again on the other charges.

[Updated at 3:08 p.m. ET] The judge in former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’ federal corruption trial has ordered jurors to continue deliberations after they announced they had reached a verdict on only one of six counts.

The judge will soon issue an “Allen charge,” which is essentially a request from the court for the jury to go back into deliberations and try again to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.

[Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET] The prosecution has asked for the jury to go back in the jury room to deliberate. The defense has asked for a mistrial on the remaining counts.

The judge is taking a five minute recess on the matter. The judge has the option to issue an “Allen charge,” which is essentially a request from the court for the jury to go back into deliberations and try again to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.

What are the charges against John Edwards?

[Posted at 2:53 p.m. ET] The jury in the John Edwards trial has only reached a unanimous decision on one charge against John Edwards.

The group of jurors said that as of this moment they could only agree on the charge of illegal campaign contributions from Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. We do not know which way the jury decided on that count.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate, was charged with accepting illegal campaign contributions, falsifying documents and conspiring to receive and conceal the contributions. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

Everything you need to know about John Edwards

Jurors last week asked to review all the exhibits, indicating they were in it for the long haul.

Prosecutors said Edwards “knowingly and willingly” accepted almost $1 million from two wealthy donors to hide former mistress Rielle Hunter and her pregnancy, then concealed the donations by filing false and misleading campaign disclosure reports.

Defense attorneys argued that Edwards was guilty of nothing but being a bad husband to his wife, Elizabeth, who died in 2010. They also argued that former Edwards aide Andrew Young used the money for his own gain and to pay for Hunter’s medical expenses to hide the affair from Edwards’ wife.

Neither Edwards nor Hunter testified during the trial. The affair occurred as Edwards was gearing up for a second White House bid in 2008, and he knew his political ambitions depended on keeping his affair with Hunter a secret, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon told jurors in closing arguments.

Prosecutors argued that Edwards knowingly violated campaign finance laws by accepting the large contributions from Rachel Mellon and Fred Baron that went to support Hunter. Edwards “knew these rules well,” Higdon said, and should have known that the contributions violated campaign finance laws.

Edwards accepted $725,000 from Mellon and more than $200,000 from Baron, prosecutors said. The money was used to pay for Hunter’s living and medical expenses, travel and other costs to keep her out of sight while Edwards made his White House run, prosecutors say.”

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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.


Judge orders jury to continue deliberating in John Edwards case

May 31, 2012

CNN on May 31, 2012 released the following:

“[Updated at 3:08 p.m. ET] The judge in former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards’ federal corruption trial has ordered jurors to continue deliberations after they announced they had reached a verdict on only one of six counts.

The judge will soon issue an “Allen charge,” which is essentially a request from the court for the jury to go back into deliberations and try again to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.

[Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET] The prosecution has asked for the jury to go back in the jury room to deliberate. The defense has asked for a mistrial on the remaining counts.

The judge is taking a five minute recess on the matter. The judge has the option to issue an “Allen charge,” which is essentially a request from the court for the jury to go back into deliberations and try again to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.

[Posted at 2:53 p.m. ET] The jury in the John Edwards trial has only reached a unanimous decision on one charge against John Edwards.

The group of jurors said that as of this moment they could only agree on the charge of illegal campaign contributions from Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. We do not know which way the jury decided on that count.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator and presidential candidate, was charged with accepting illegal campaign contributions, falsifying documents and conspiring to receive and conceal the contributions. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

Jurors last week asked to review all the exhibits, indicating they were in it for the long haul.

Prosecutors said Edwards “knowingly and willingly” accepted almost $1 million from two wealthy donors to hide former mistress Rielle Hunter and her pregnancy, then concealed the donations by filing false and misleading campaign disclosure reports.

Defense attorneys argued that Edwards was guilty of nothing but being a bad husband to his wife, Elizabeth, who died in 2010. They also argued that former Edwards aide Andrew Young used the money for his own gain and to pay for Hunter’s medical expenses to hide the affair from Edwards’ wife.

Neither Edwards nor Hunter testified during the trial. The affair occurred as Edwards was gearing up for a second White House bid in 2008, and he knew his political ambitions depended on keeping his affair with Hunter a secret, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon told jurors in closing arguments.

Prosecutors argued that Edwards knowingly violated campaign finance laws by accepting the large contributions from Rachel Mellon and Fred Baron that went to support Hunter. Edwards “knew these rules well,” Higdon said, and should have known that the contributions violated campaign finance laws.

Edwards accepted $725,000 from Mellon and more than $200,000 from Baron, prosecutors said. The money was used to pay for Hunter’s living and medical expenses, travel and other costs to keep her out of sight while Edwards made his White House run, prosecutors say.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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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 Jury Reaches Verdict

May 31, 2012

ABC News on May 31, 2012 released the following:

JAMES HILL and MAT MENDEZ

“After a lengthy deliberation, a North Carolina jury has reached a verdict in the John Edwards mistress-and-money trial.

The verdict is expected to be read shortly.

The jury began deliberating on May 18 after a month of testimony, which at times sounded more like a steamy soap opera than a trial on the intricacies of campaign finance rules.

Charged with six counts of violating federal campaign laws, Edwards was accused by the government of soliciting nearly $1 million from wealthy backers to finance a cover up of his illicit affair and illegitimate child while running for president in 2008.

If convicted, Edwards can face up to 30 years in prison and be fined more than $1 million, although it is unlikely he will face the most severe penalties.

The government spent three weeks building its case. Much of it hinged on the testimony of Andrew Young, once Edwards’ most loyal aide, who testified he collected $725,000 from wealthy heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, who disguised her contributions as payments for antique furniture.

The prosecution detailed the way Edwards met mistress Rielle Hunter and how he worked throughout his campaign to keep the affair and later his love child a secret. The government said Fred Baron, another wealthy backer who was once Edwards’ campaign treasurer, contributed an additional $300,000 to move Hunter and her baby all over the country to keep them away from the media.

In just three days of defense testimony, Edwards’ lawyers tried to portray Young as the mastermind of a plot to use Edwards’ scandal to request funds for his own personal use. Any lies Edwards told, his lawyers, said were in an effort to keep the affair a secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, and not to advance his political career.

The jury consists of eight men and four women.”

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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 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:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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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.


Media motion seeks Edwards juror names at end of trial

May 26, 2012

The Charlotte Observer on May 24, 2012 released the following:

“The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and other media organizations are seeking to make public the names of jurors deciding federal charges against John Edwards at the end of his trial at the U.S. District Court in Greensboro.

In a motion filed with the court Wednesday, the media organizations cited a local rule of the Greensboro court that prohibits the clerk’s office from disclosing without court permission the names, addresses and telephone numbers of people who have served on juries.

The panel deciding whether the former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate violated federal campaign-contribution laws is expected to begin its fifth day of deliberations Thursday. The jury has not been sequestered during more than four weeks of testimony or during deliberations.

The names of people serving on federal juries is public according to federal law, the media organizations argued in their court filings.

The motion also cites intense public interest in the trial and in how the jury ultimately rules. It argues that “there is no compelling governmental interest in withholding the identities of individuals who served on the jury. Moreover, given that the case has proceeded in open court with jurors whose identities are at least partially known, perpetuating the secrecy of the jury is an affront to the First Amendment in service of a weak interest with no hope of success.”

Joining in the motion are WRAL, WTVD, The New York Times Co., Media General, News 14 Carolina, NBC Universal and The Associated Press.”

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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:

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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: Alternate jurors — all in red — are talk of the courtroom

May 25, 2012

The Washington Post on May 25, 2012 released the following:

“By Manuel Roig-Franzia,

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Something exceedingly strange is happening at the John Edwards trial: all four alternate jurors dressed in red shirts Friday. They each wore bright yellow the day before.

Coincidence? Few here think so.

The demeanor of the alternate jurors and their behavior has become the talk of the courthouse. The alternates enter the courtroom each day giggling among themselves. One of the alternates, an attractive young woman, has been spotted smiling at Edwards and flipping her hair in what seems to some to be a flirtatious manner. On Friday, she wore a revealing red top with a single strap and an exposed right shoulder.

Her actions have not gone unnoticed by courtroom observers, some of whom have chatted about her in increasingly anxious tones during the long stretches of down time while the jury, now in its sixth day of deliberations, meets behind closed doors to decide whether Edwards should be convicted on six campaign finance and conspiracy charges.

The case centers on nearly $1 million in payments from the heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and the wealthy lawyer Fred Baron that prosecutors say was used to cover up Edwards’s affair with videographer Rielle Hunter and the child he fathered with her.

The alternate jurors play a supporting role in this drama. They watched the testimony, but will not vote on the verdict unless one of the 12 members of the main jury is removed. Two members of the jury also wore red tops on Friday. At times during breaks in deliberations, some jurors have gestured toward alternates, who sit at the opposite end of a small federal courtroom here that is packed each day with reporters awaiting a verdict.

The sight of all four alternates in red drew titters from an audience that had already noted that Edwards had ended his streak of wearing a green tie to court for four straight days. NBC’s Lisa Meyer asked Edwards whether he was wearing his lucky tie on Thursday, and he responded with a smile, “I’m not saying’.”

The color he chose on Friday? You guessed it: red.”

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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.