Former Senator John Edwards was indicted today for allegedly violating the campaign donation law. Although details are still developing, it can be said that the accusation is predicated upon Edwards requesting and receiving two donations from two individuals, totaling almost one million dollars, for the purpose of supporting Edward's mistress and their love child. I'm posting this, in spite of the information reservoir not yet full, because what sticks in my throat is ascertainable now, and not likely to change. In the interests of full disclosure, those who have followed this blog are aware that I readily acknowledge my trait of compassion with pride.
The man stands thoroughly, publicly disgraced. He did not volunteer his wrongdoing, it was discovered. His fall from grace has decimated his reputation, which is his life. He has come forth with the expected apologies, but he is, and will remain, shunned, in, ironically, his own court of public opinion. He stands uniformly condemned.
This case will not stand or fall on a question of fact. They can almost be stipulated. It will turn on a question of law.
Were the monies received as a campaign contribution (guilty) or as a personal gift(not guilty)?
That is the question.
Please note well: this is a case of first impression. The statute, allegedly violated, has never been prosecutorialy interpreted so as to apply to the facts at hand.
What, then, is the motive for the federal charges? What is the priority so obsessively attached to this case? You guess first. The law has never been used this way.
To me, this matter called for a pass by the Justice Department. Edwards has no more unbroken bones to break. He's in purgatory. Should a kicking foot be able to reach that far down?
I say no. Am I a compassionate activist?
I'm so proud of the charge, I plead guilty.