John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, and presidential candidate during the 2004 election, who went on to become John Kerry’s vice presidential running mate, is attempting to stall his forthcoming criminal trial, yet again. According to CNN, Edwards’ attorneys requested the delay, claiming he has an “unspecified medical condition.” If Edwards really had some illness, perhaps there wouldn’t be the need to cloud it in such secrecy. In June, the government charged him with violating campaign contribution laws, and making false statements.
Destroyed His Political Career
At one point, many democrats believed that John Edwards, a smart-talking politician who appeared to care deeply about the plight of the less fortunate, could go far in the political world. The handsome, All-American guy who became incredibly wealthy from a career as a trial lawyer, apparently believed that he was above the law.
Now a Single Parent
John Edwards has been the sole caretaker of his two young children, ages 11 and 13, since his wife Elizabeth died in December of 2010. He used that as an excuse to delay the trial in September, when the trial date was set at January 30, 2012. The new motion was issued in a sealed exhibit, and according to NBC, federal prosecutors filed a motion opposing the delay. Since the trial date was set in September, the government has produced a huge amount of other evidence against Edwards, and both he and the government are seeking additional evidence from the North Carolina state courts.
More Government Evidence
Without a continuance, neither John Edwards, or his attorneys could analyze the documents sufficiently to give him effective or fair counsel. One of the things at issue in the case is whether money that came from benefactors when Edwards was a candidate, constitute a gift to his mistress, Rielle Hunter, or if they technically constitute campaign donations. Mr. Edwards repeatedly lied about his affair, as he engaged in this illicit affair throughout his wife’s critical illness.
Facing Serious Charges
John Edwards faces very serious charges. If convicted, he could be fined as much as $1.5 million and be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison. The potential sentence is very harsh. It means his young children will grow up without any parent. Edwards’ daughter Cate has stood behind her father throughout this ordeal. An attorney in her own right, she is now married and running a non-profit organization that keeps the memory of her mother alive.
Many devoted democrats lost respect for John Edwards upon discovering the enormous scope of his deceit. The government has really put a lot into pressing charges against him, and ensuring that they have enough evidence to get a conviction. To some, it may seem like Edwards is trying to manipulate the judicial system. People who distrust him because of his lies about the affair with Rielle Hunter may now wonder whether he’s lying about a “serious illness.”
If John Edwards really is sick, shouldn’t he be upfront about the illness and announce what it is? By not doing so, he is giving people, and perhaps the government, the ammunition they need to suggest that he’s lying again. Because of his efforts to cover up his affair, and then deny fathering a child, he should be worried that a potential jury, like the public, might not believe anything he says.