Federal authorities have been investigating whether former Senator and VIce Presidential candidate John Edwards illegally spent 2008 campaign money to hide his relationship with videographer Rielle Hunter, and whether $1,000,000, provided by wealthy donors to keep her hidden, amounts to illegal contributions.
NBC reported on May 25, 2011 that the DOJ has been given the green light for criminal charges to be filed against Edwards.
John Edwards purported testimonial was used by a prominent plaintiff structured settlement firm to promote its services and solicit insurance business from about October 2005 until about July 2007. The firm included a bundler for campaign contributions for Edwards and the firm also was and is a large contributor to trial lawyer associations. The Structured Settlement Watchdog posited that Edwards' testimonial (that he gave the firm "his highest professional recommendation") was not credible since he ceased practicing as a trial lawyer 4 years before the subject firm was founded, so he could not have had the opportunity to evaluate the firm professionally.
In response to receiving continued solicitations for more contributions from the Edwards 2008 campaign, the structured settlement watchdog asked numerous times for Edwards clarification through various channels about why Edwards would give a testimonial to one firm in an industry he could have had no professional contact with. Just one firm when others in the same industry had given money to his campaign. It also appeared he gave no other firms such product or service endorsements, or they weren't promoting them in the same way. The structured settlement watchdog even gave Edwards the opportunty to gracefully say that the structured settlement firm was mistaken...that he was misquoted, but he didn't. This simply raised suspicion that the "testimonial" was a paid testimonial. In other words "you're good because you paid my campaign $xx,xxx". This made sense because, at the time, the structured settlement firm in question heavily used its contributions to trial lawyer associations in its printed advertising to solicit insurance business.
This author understands, through a source at the time (who counted Edwards as a former client-from before Edwards became a Senator) that all hell broke loose at the Chicago annual meeting of the AAJ that year. We understand the structured settlement firm struggled to keep the "testimonial" despite pressure from trial lawyers loyal to Edwards. Eventually the entire testimonial page was removed from the firm's website, not just the "testimonial" of John Edwards. It was very very odd.
Pardon me while I rant for a bit off topic...
David Callahan at The Huffington Post questions why the DOJ should waste its time with John Edwards, when there are bigger fish to fry. I say they should "do" John Edwards in what ever size "frying pan" it takes. As a gourmand, I will attest that the Southerners certainly know how to fry a fish. This was a guy who (as we all came to learn) falsely promoted himself as a wholesome family man while soliciting money from millions of voters, concurrent with having an illicit affair and fathering a child. And then it appears that there was an attempt to cover up.
This country needs to make examples to restore faith in a system that promotes glorification of the errant acts of the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Paris HIlton, Joey Buttafuoco (whose "celebrity" stemmed from an illicit affair with a young girl who ended up shooting his wife). Granted every human being has frailties. But I'm personally sick of the media more concerned about what dress Lindsay wore to Court, than the piss poor example that she's setting for the youth of this country. You would think she was that lost little girl in Schindler's List, the only one in color who stood out in a chaotic black and white screen image. Jared Loughner is not fit to stand trial despite pumping bullets into the head of a US congresswoman and killing several others with dozens of witnesses.
The image of the corrupt politician has endured for centuries. NBC reports that the Feds are insisting that Edwards cops to a felony, but his friends doubt he will do that. So let the games begin. The popcorn is ready.