haircut and suspect character. This case has to leave a bad taste in every one's mind regarding the honor of some of our elected officials. To make matters worse look what's in the White House. If this is any indication of the democrats vetting process for the highest offices in the land...oy vey!
By TARA PALMERI
Former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards dodged serious jail time yesterday, when a jury found him not guilty on one count of campaign fraud and deadlocked on five others.
Edwards was accused of using about $1 million donated by a pair of wealthy supporters to cover up a sordid sex scandal involving mistress Rielle Hunter — whom he got pregnant behind the back of his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, during his 2008 presidential campaign.
But after a six-week trial, including nine days of jury deliberation, Judge Catherine Eagles let Edwards walk by declaring a mistrial on the five deadlocked counts.
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It’s unlikely prosecutors will attempt to retry Edwards — who could have been facing 30 years behind bars and $1.5 million in fines, sources said.
The 2004 vice-presidential nominee looked relieved yesterday as he put his index finger to his lip, hugged daughter Cate and then embraced his parents, Wallace and Bobbie.
The shameless ex-senator was so filled with excitement that he seemed to forget that he was still the most hated man in politics — and hinted at an attempt to revive his career.
“I don’t think God’s through with me,” Edwards said outside court after the verdict. “I really believe he thinks there’s still some good things I can do.”
Even though his trial centered around the cover-up of a love child — Edwards vowed to fight for impoverished children.
“And whatever happens with this legal stuff going forward, what I’m hopeful about is all those kids I’ve seen . . . I can help them — in whatever way I’m still capable of helping them,” he said.
Wearing his lucky green tie, Edwards took a few moments to acknowledge his misdeeds.
“I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong. There is no one else responsible for my sins,” Edwards said from the courthouse steps.
“If I want to find the person accountable for my sins I don’t have to go any further than the mirror.”
He gushed over daughter Cate, 30, for standing behind him throughout the trial — even though she had to suffer through heart-rending evidence and details of Edwards’ dalliance with Hunter.
Edwards named all of the children from his marriage with Elizabeth in his remarks: Cate, Emma, 14, and Jack, 12.
And he didn’t forget his child with Hunter — the child he once denied fathering in a televised interview.
“My precious Quinn,” Edwards said, “who I love more than any of you could ever imagine, and I am so close to and so, so grateful for.”
The jury could only agree on count 3 against Edwards, which related to accepting illegal campaign contributions from 101-year-old supporter Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in 2008.
That single verdict led to a mix-up in the middle of the day yesterday, in which Eagles had thought the panel had come to a decision on all the counts.
When the jurors said they had decided only on the one count, Eagles sent them back to continue deliberating on the other charges, which included one count of conspiracy, a count of filing a false report, two counts of taking improper money from a longtime supporter, the late Frederick Baron, and another count related to Mellon.
The jury deliberated for another 90 minutes before the judge agreed they were hopelessly deadlocked.
Eagles seemed upset about having to declare a mistrial, but she told jurors: “You can hold your head up.”
Federal prosecutors argued that Edwards had improperly used nearly $1 million to keep the nation from learning about his love child with Hunter during the 2008 presidential race.
Edwards’ defense team argued that the money was given to him not as a campaign donation, but as a personal gift to keep Elizabeth from learning about his relationship with Hunter.
The scandal over Edwards’ betrayal of his wife, who died of cancer in 2010, turned him from Democratic superstar to political pariah.
The shocking revelations that came up during the trial only served to embarrass him more.
The government’s case hinged largely on the credibility of former Edwards confidant Andrew Young, who testified that keeping Hunter secret was the “most important job in the campaign” — and even once claimed paternity of her child to help in the cover-up.
One of the most memorable moments of the trial for Edwards was when former campaign aide Christina Reynolds recalled Elizabeth’s meltdown after the National Enquirer reported on the Hunter affair in October 2007.
“You don’t see me anymore!” Elizabeth shouted at him in front of staff, after tearing off her shirt and exposing the cancer-surgery scars on her bare breasts.
Additional reporting by Todd Venezia, with AP