John Edwards' campaign finance case is moving ahead, much to the chagrin of his attorneys.
The case has survived five motions to dismiss.
The former presidential candidate is accused of misusing campaign contributions. He allegedly used funds to cover up the existence of his mistress, videographer Rielle Hunter. Hunter later carried Edwards' daughter to term.
Edwards was accused of paying for Hunter's living and medical expenses with campaign funds.
Edwards' attorneys say that if they lose at trial, the landscape of campaign finance law will be forever changed. They say that as a result, any money spent by a candidate could be considered a campaign expense, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The crux of the prosecution's case rests on whether or not the $900,000 of funds used to shroud Hunter's pregnancy in secrecy was for a campaign purpose.
It's unsurprising that the prosecution argues "yes." After all, they say that the payoffs to Hunter were a part of Edwards' strategy to keep his public image. And that they were vital to ensure that he would remain a viable presidential candidate.
After all, we know what happens to politicians who have extramarital missteps.
Edwards' defense is that he used the funds for purely personal reasons, not for campaign reasons. He says he wanted to shield his family from the harm and stress of having his affair publicly aired. His attorneys sought to have the case dismissed before trial.
Unfortunately, his lawyers' arguments weren't persuasive enough. The federal judge denied their motions to dismiss. But there may be hope - the judge also indicated that there are facts that the prosecution alleged that may need to be adjudicated in trial. Such as: how can Edwards "aid and abet" himself, as the prosecution has charged.
- Edwards Fights Campaign Finance Case (New York Times)
- John Edwards Charged with Conspiracy and False Statements (FindLaw's Courtside)
- John Edwards Trial Unlikely: Expect a Plea (FindLaw Blotter)
- John Edwards Prosecution for Affair Cover Up Looms (FindLaw Blotter)