Today is the first day of trial for former presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards, who is accused of funneling more than $900,000 paid to him by two wealthy benefactors to his mistress to protect his image as a “family first” man. The lawyers defending Edwards plan to argue that the money he received were gifts from his wealthy friends, and the money was not used for the 2008 campaign in any way, shape, or form.
According to Edward’s lawyers, the fact that Edwards paid his mistress, campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, and supported her through the birth of their child, does not mean Edwards had to declare the gifts as campaign contributions. Edwards defense lawyer’s case is built upon the fact that the campaign finance law their client is accused of breaking “has never been the basis of criminal or even civil liability in the statute’s history.’’ The defense will also call two former FEC commissioners to the stand, who are expected to testify that, under the law at the time the money was paid to Edwards, it was not clear that it had to be classified as a campaign contribution.
Signed, Isidori Mtabo