Cornell law professor Michael Dorf makes my heart leap in admiration by bucking the popular trend—especially among Democrats and soft-hearted media types who 1) only like seeing Republicans and conservatives get in trouble for sex scandals and 2) think Edwards “has suffered enough” —of arguing that the prosecution of John Edwards for campaign fundraising violations is based on a weak legal case. On his blog, Prof. Dorf argues persuasively to the contrary:
“At its core, the indictment alleges that Edwards knowingly: 1) in violation of federal campaign finance law, accepted money well in excess of the individual campaign contribution limits; 2) spent that money to hide his extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter; and 3) in violation of federal campaign finance law, failed to disclose either the donations or the expenditures….
“…The real question with respect to the government’s point number 1) is whether the hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to Edwards ” for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office.” Subject to a whole lot of irrelevant exceptions, that’s the statutory definition of a “campaign contribution.” It is nearly inconceivable that the money for hiding the Hunter affair was not “for the purpose of influencing” the 2008 Presidential primary. What other possible purpose could it have served? Continue reading