John Edwards is guilty! He is guilty of being a sleazebag, guilty of being an adulterer, but I do not believe that John Edwards is guilty of misusing campaign funds and violating Federal Election Commission campaign rules law.
Now I know many of you are going to say, Leslie, you're a Democrat, you're just defending one of your own. But you're wrong. And here's why.
Wednesday is day two of this trial. A trial by an overzealous prosecution which is costing millions of dollars. John Edwards told Andrew Young, his former aide and the prosecution's star witness to approach Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, the widow of banking heir Paul Mellon, "and ask for a noncampaign expense, something that would benefit him."
What's disgusting is that John Edwards was cheating on his wife, while running for office and lying to his devoted followers. He betrayed them and their trust. And certainly betrayed his wife Elizabeth: a woman who gave him four children, a woman who was dying of cancer, a woman loved by this nation. He had the audacity to cheat and then to impregnate his lover and then to deny that "love child." And he was hated for it.
But, none of that is a crime, my friend.
John Edwards faces hard jail time if convicted, and if he is convicted I believe it would be a miscarriage of justice. John Edwards is accused of misusing campaign funds, yet he didn't tell his campaign treasurer about the money Mrs. Mellon gave him and none of that money ever touched Edward's personal account nor his campaign account. And prosecutors do not allege that either.
So why is John Edwards on trial? Is accepting a gift, even a large gift of cash, illegal if it was solicited as a "noncampaign" contribution? If I run for office and you give me $100 for my campaign, and also choose to help me with a problem in my personal life with other funds, is that a crime? Or is John Edwards being tried because he is guilty in the court of public opinion—guilty of committing adultery, cheating on a sick and dying wife? If that's the case, there are numerous politicians who are guilty of those same crimes. Many who have never been investigated, many who have never been tried, and none I know that are sitting in a jail cell.
We cannot prosecute and find guilty someone we don't like or like the actions of. That is not justice.