John Edwards again asks for acquittal

June 13, 2012

ABC News Local on June 13, 2012 released the following:

“CHAPEL HILL — John Edwards once again asked a federal judge Tuesday to acquit him of all criminal charges stemming from his recent trial.

A jury acquitted the former Democratic presidential candidate on one felony count of receiving illegal campaign contributions, but deadlocked on the remaining five counts. Federal officials are weighing whether to retry Edwards on the five unresolved charges.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles ordered new briefs on whether two of the charges should be tried in a different federal court and whether prosecutors played an improper role in a civil lawsuit over ownership of a sex tape of Edwards and his mistress.

In new filing obtained Tuesday by ABC11, Edwards’ defense tells the judge that prosecutors got the venue wrong when they charged Edwards with accepting illegal campaign contributions from his wealthy friend Fred Baron in 2007 and 2008. It contends the only money linked to North Carolina was a chartered flight out of RDU that Baron paid for.

That’s technically Wake County, in the Eastern District of North Carolina – not the Middle District where he’s charged.

But, it’s a phone call Edwards made to his former aide Andrew Young that has prosecutors sticking to the charges. They say that in that call Edwards told Young to contact Baron to arrange that RDU flight in for his then-pregnant mistress.

If the judge sides with the defense, two of the charges would have to either be dismissed or tried elsewhere. The prosecution has until next week to respond.”

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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 Verdict Shows Clemens Need Not Fear Taint Of Reputation

June 4, 2012

Bloomberg on June 3, 2012 released the following:

“By David Glovin

Jurors tend to look past a criminal defendant’s reputation, no matter how odious, to render verdicts based on fact and law, lawyers said after former presidential candidate John Edwards won an acquittal and mistrial last week.

Federal jurors in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 31 acquitted Edwards of one charge of using illegal campaign contributions to hide an extramarital affair and couldn’t decide about five other counts. They did so after hearing evidence that Edwards cheated on his dying wife and lied to the public about fathering a child with his paramour.

The verdict sends an encouraging signal to Roger Clemens, the former Major League Baseball pitcher now on trial in Washington for lying to Congress about his use of steroids, said Douglas Godfrey, a professor who teaches criminal law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

“While we would all acknowledge that Edwards and Clemens are not nice guys and they behaved in very bad ways, that’s not the same as violating the law,” Godfrey said in a telephone interview. “Just because you’re an arrogant SOB or philanderer, that’s not the same as committing a crime.”

Edwards’s acquittal and mistrial came 11 months after a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony, an Orlando mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, and 22 years after a New York City jury rendered a not guilty verdict in the racketeering case of Imelda Marcos, the former Philippines first lady ridiculed for owning more than 1,000 pair of shoes. In those cases and others, public opinion had turned so harshly against the defendants that a conviction seemed almost an afterthought.

Then the jury weighed in.

Jury Speaks

“It’s a great affirmation of our jury system that people like Casey Anthony and John Edwards, who are personally unlikable and in many ways despicable, can still sit in front of a jury of 12 people and have those 12 people judge them based on the evidence,” said Marc Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor who is now in private practice at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator from North Carolina and presidential contender in 2008, was accused of violating campaign finance laws by accepting almost $1 million from multimillionaire heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Fred Baron, a now-deceased trial attorney, to conceal an affair. The case marked the first time the government prosecuted someone for campaign violations when money was paid to a third party.

Jurors deliberated for nine days before reaching their partial verdict. They couldn’t agree on counts that included a claim that Edwards conspired to protect his candidacy by secretly soliciting and accepting the funds and causing his campaign to file false reports with the Federal Election Commission.

He’s unlikely to be retried, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Adultery, Arrogance

Except for the defendants’ notoriety — Edwards for adultery and Clemens for arrogance — the two cases have few similarities, said Stefan Passantino, who heads the political law team at McKenna Long & Aldridge in Washington. Lying to Congress, which Clemens is accused of, is a far more established crime than the conduct for which Edwards was on trial, he said.

Still, both defendants have had to confront the prospect that jurors would convict because of their reputations. The Edwards jury didn’t, in part because defense lawyers shifted the focus to ex-campaign aide Andrew Young, who acted as a go- between on transactions involving Mellon and Baron and used some of their money to build his own $1.5 million home.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell also addressed the character issue head-on.

‘Moral Wrongs’

“John Edwards may have committed many moral wrongs but he did not commit a legal one,” Lowell told jurors during his closing argument. “He was a bad husband and lied to his family but there is not a remote chance that he violated campaign finance laws or committed a felony.”

Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor who is now at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles, said jurors were attentive enough to the case’s nuances to see past Edwards’s reputation.

“Perceptions about personalities don’t govern verdicts,” he said. “In Edwards, personality didn’t rule.”

While Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as the best pitcher in his league, he also ranks 14th in Major League Baseball for hitting 159 batters with pitches during his career.

Hurled Bat

Lawyers for Clemens, whose reputation for abrasiveness grew after he hurled a bat at an opposing player and because of his performance before Congress, have been taking a page from Edwards’s book. The ex-pitcher’s defense has been focused on tearing down the credibility of the government’s only eyewitness, Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer.

McNamee testified he gave Clemens injections of steroids and human-growth hormone.

Clemens’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, got McNamee to admit he’d lied to federal investigators and accused him of alcohol abuse and engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain diet pills.

“The facts are very different, the personalities are different,” Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner with McCarter & English LLP in Newark, New Jersey, said of the Clemens and Edwards cases.

‘Positive Message’

“But if there’s any positive message that Clemens can draw out of the Edwards verdict, it’s that jurors will look beyond whatever antipathy they may feel regarding their personal conduct and do their best to make a decision based solely on the facts and law presented to them at the trial,” Mintz said in a telephone interview.

Jacob Frenkel, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer who is now with Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA in Potomac, Maryland, said it’s proven lying, and not reputation, that puts many celebrity defendants behind bars. He pointed to Martha Stewart, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2004 for obstructing justice by lying to prosecutors, and baseball player Barry Bonds, the career home-run record-holder who was convicted last year of obstructing justice for deceiving a grand jury.

Clemens is accused of obstructing justice and perjury.

“It is the acts of lying or obstruction that often are the downfall,” Frankel said in a telephone interview.

It’s not only Clemens who may take comfort in the Edwards verdict, said Michael Kendall, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Boston and a former federal prosecutor. In New York, Rajat Gupta, who was once a director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and who ran McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to 2003, is defending against charges that he leaked inside information to hedge fund co-founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Public Hostility

If Edwards could win an acquittal, so might Gupta, even amid public hostility to bankers and Wall Street in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, he said.

“There are a thousand ways to derail a prosecution,” Kendall said in a telephone interview. “There’s an incredible common sense in collective good judgment in the jury system.”

The Edwards case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-cr-161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro). The Clemens case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington). The Gupta case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”

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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.


John Edwards gambles on NC jury to avoid prison

April 11, 2012

Associated Press on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“By MICHAEL BIESECKER, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — As a young personal injury lawyer in North Carolina, John Edwards earned a reputation for turning down multimillion-dollar settlement offers on bets that jurors would award his clients more money at the end of a trial.

“The twelve souls who spend full days, full weeks, or sometimes long months sitting only a few feet from you get to know you almost as well as you know yourself,” Edwards wrote in “Four Trials,” his 2003 autobiography. “They take in every movement, fact, word, hesitation, and glance. My faith in the wisdom of ordinary people took root in the mill towns of my youth. But the juries of my adulthood deepened that faith.”

Now the former U.S. senator and two-time Democratic presidential candidate is making the biggest courtroom gamble of his life — that a jury will clear him of alleged campaign finance violations and keep him from being sent to prison.

Jury selection for Edwards’ criminal trial is set to begin Thursday in the Middle District of North Carolina. The sprawling 24-county federal judicial district includes the town where he grew up, Robbins, as well as dozens of other small communities where old textile mills now sit idle but evangelical churches are routinely full.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles, who was appointed in 2010 by President Barack Obama, will preside. She said she expects the proceedings to last about six weeks.

Edwards, who declined an interview request through his lawyers, was indicted by a federal grand jury last year on six felony and misdemeanor counts related to nearly $1 million secretly provided by wealthy campaign donors to help hide his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, as he sought the White House in 2008. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and as much as $1.5 million in fines.

Before his indictment, Edwards rejected a potential plea agreement with federal prosecutors that would have allowed him to serve as little as six months and keep his law license, according to two people with direct knowledge of the offer. More than a year after his wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer, Edwards is now a single parent of two children, ages 13 and 11, who live with their father at the family’s gated estate outside Chapel Hill. Eldest daughter Cate Edwards, 30, is a lawyer who married last year.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina law school, John Edwards made his fortune handling medical malpractice and corporate negligence cases before turning to politics following the death of his 16-year-old son Wade in a 1996 auto accident. Edwards was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and was John Kerry’s running mate in 2004. His law license has been listed as inactive for more than a decade.

For his part, Edwards has said he is looking forward to getting back in front of a jury, even though he’ll be the one at the defense table.

“After all these years, I finally get my day in court and people get to hear my side of this, and what actually happened,” Edwards said on the steps of the federal courthouse in Greensboro following a pretrial hearing in October. “And what I know with complete and absolute certainty is I didn’t violate campaign laws and I never for a second believed I was violating campaign laws.”

Regardless of the outcome, the coming trial in USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards is sure to set legal precedents for what constitutes a campaign donation under federal law.

A key issue will be whether Edwards knew about the payments made on his behalf by his national campaign finance chairman, the late Texas lawyer Fred Baron, and campaign donor Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, an heiress and socialite who is now 101 years old. Both had already given Edwards’ campaign the maximum $2,300 individual contribution allowed by federal law.

Edwards denies having known about the money, which paid for private jets, luxury hotels and Hunter’s medical care. Prosecutors will seek to prove he sought and directed the payments to cover up his affair, protect his public image as a “family man” and keep his presidential hopes viable.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors declined to comment about likely trial issues. But hundreds of pages of pre-trial motions and hours of oral arguments in recent months offer insights into their likely strategies.

Abbe Lowell, Edwards’ lead lawyer, contends that even had Edwards known about the secret payments, his actions wouldn’t amount to a crime under federal law because his motivation was keeping his wife from learning of the affair, not influencing the outcome of an election. Lowell has said in court that the government’s case relies on flawed legal reasoning, that the grand jury process was tainted and that the Republican federal prosecutor who led the investigation, now-congressional candidate George Holding, was motivated by partisanship.

Lowell has derided what he calls the government’s “crazy” interpretation of federal law whereby money that was never handled by the candidate nor deposited in a campaign account is being defined as campaign contributions.

The Federal Election Commission reviewed Edwards’ case and declined to seek charges or issue a fine. The defense is likely to call two former FEC commissioners as expert witnesses.

Edwards’ legal position is also supported in a court brief filed by the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a campaign finance watchdog group.

“In the United States, we don’t prosecute people for being loathsome, we prosecute them for violating the law,” CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said this week. “The real reason for these payments is obvious: To prevent Mr. Edwards’ cancer-stricken wife from finding out about the affair. This makes him despicable, but not a criminal.”

Much of the money at issue was funneled to Andrew Young, a former campaign aide once so close to Edwards that Andrews initially claimed paternity of his boss’s illegitimate child. Young and his wife invited the pregnant Hunter to live in their home near Chapel Hill and later embarked with her on a cross-country odyssey as they sought to elude tabloid reporters trying to expose the candidate’s extramarital affair.

Young later fell out with Edwards and wrote an unflattering tell-all book, “The Politician.” Young and Hunter recently ended a two-year legal battle over ownership of a sex tape the mistress recorded with Edwards during the campaign, agreeing to a settlement that dictates that copies of the video will be destroyed.

Young is expected to be a witness for the prosecution, while the defense is likely to call Hunter to testify. Two of the lawyers who represented Hunter in her civil suit against the former aide joined Edwards’ legal team last month. After years of adamant public denials, Edwards acknowledged paternity of Hunter’s daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, in 2010. The girl, now 4, lives with her mother in Charlotte.

It has not yet been decided whether Edwards, who was once known for his ability to charm jurors, will testify in his own defense.

But if he does take the witness stand, the case could hinge on which admitted liar the jury chooses to believe — Edwards, who appeared on national television to deny having an affair with Hunter and fathering her child, or Young, who claimed in a written statement that the baby was his.

“Juries seek the truth, and even as a (law) clerk I learned that neither silver-tongued cunning nor hapless bungling will find it for them,” Edwards wrote in “Four Trials.” ”So the best lawyer must be honest and in a way plain in answering any doubts or confusions, and you must know the facts — all of them — for otherwise the jury will lose faith in you. As it should.””

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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 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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Thirteen Alleged Latin King Members Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges (RICO)

December 7, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on December 6, 2011 released the following:

Defendants Allegedly Conspired to Commit Murders, Assaults, Robberies, Kidnappings, and Arson

GREENSBORO, NC— Thirteen alleged members of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Greensboro, N.C. for allegedly conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, announced Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina Ripley Rand. The indictment was returned under seal on November 29, 2011, and unsealed today after 12 of the defendants were arrested or placed under detainer while in custody on other charges.

According to the indictment, the defendants are members of the Latin Kings, a violent street gang with members operating in North Carolina since at least 2005. The traditional power centers of the Latin Kings are the Chicago and New York metropolitan areas, with thousands of members scattered across the United States and overseas.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges a pattern of violent criminal activity by Latin Kings members in North Carolina,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “Criminal street gangs like the Latin Kings endanger communities across the country. We are working hard with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to bring gang members and their associates to justice.”

“We have no tolerance for violent crime in North Carolina,” said U.S. Attorney Rand. “The investigation in this case is part of a coordinated effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement to combat violent street gang activity. We will continue to work together to keep our neighborhoods safe, and we will not allow violent street gangs to dictate what happens in our communities.”

According to the indictment, the Latin Kings were allegedly formed in North Carolina by JORGE PETER CORNELL, a/k/a “King Jay,” who allegedly became a member of the Latin Kings while he was residing in New York City. When CORNELL moved to the Middle District of North Carolina, he allegedly formed a tribe and became the “Inca” for the entire state of North Carolina. It is alleged that, through violence, threats of violence, and coercion, CORNELL gained control of all of the Latin Kings tribes in North Carolina, including chapters in Greensboro, Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh.

The unsealed indictment also sets forth allegations that CORNELL, in an attempt to disguise the criminal activities of the Latin Kings and frustrate law enforcement attempts to investigate and prosecute Latin Kings members, orchestrated a public relations campaign to falsely portray the Latin Kings as a public service organization. It is also alleged that CORNELL made public statements for peace between Greensboro street gangs and regularly held media events with community leaders to publicly advocate for the dissolution of Greensboro Police Department’s gang unit during the same period of time that he allegedly plotted to murder or assault rival gang members (including other Latin Kings) and was involved in other gang-related criminal activities.

“These arrests today are an outstanding example of the tireless work of the Safe Streets Task Force. The gang’s attempt to portray the Latin Kings as a public service organization did not deter the FBI and our law enforcement partners from uncovering their scheme,” said Chris Briese, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Charlotte Division.

The indictment charges the following defendants with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the Latin Kings:

  • JORGE PETER CORNELL, a/k/a “King Jay,” age 35;
  • RUSSELL LLOYD KILFOIL, a/k/a “King Peaceful” and “Jonathan Hernandez,” age 25;
  • RANDOLPH LEIF KILFOIL, a/k/a “King Paul,” age 26;
  • JASON PAUL YATES, a/k/a “King Squirrel,” age 31;
  • LUIS ALBERTO ROSA, a/k/a “King Speechless,” age 24
  • WESLEY ANDERSON WILLIAMS, a/k/a “King Bam,” age 19;
  • STEAPHAN ACENCIO-VASQUEZ, a/k/a “King Leo,” age 20;
  • MARCELO YSRAEL PEREZ, a/k/a “King Lyrix” and “King Sacrifice,” age 26;
  • SAMUEL ISAAC VELASQUEZ, a/k/a “King Hype,” age 22;
  • CHARLES LAWRENCE MOORE, a/k/a “King Toasty,” age 26;
  • RICHARD LEE ROBINSON, a/k/a “King Focus,” age 22;
  • IRVIN VASQUEZ, a/k/a “King Dice,” age 22; and
  • CARLOS COLEMAN, a/k/a “King Spanky,” age 19.

The indictment also charges PEREZ with a violent crime in aid of racketeering and using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. The indictment alleges that Latin Kings members committed a wide range of crimes in order to further their racketeering scheme, including armed robberies, kidnappings, arson, and assaults.

Initial appearances for the six defendants arrested today in North Carolina will be held in Greensboro federal court at 4 p.m. before P. Trevor Sharp, United States Magistrate Judge. Defendant Wesley Williams was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada and is expected to appear in federal court there today.

PEREZ is the only defendant not in custody and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Guilford County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Greensboro Police Department are searching for him. Call the FBI Charlotte Field Office at 704-672-6100 or the Greensboro-Guilford County Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000 if you have any information on the whereabouts of PEREZ.

The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina and the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, and the Greensboro Police Department.

Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. An indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

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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

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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.


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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