Edwards and Ensign

So, I was interviewed by a reporter for Politico the other day about John Edwards attempts to get the ridiculous campaign finance charges against him dismissed on the basis that the original US Attorney on the case, George Holding, was making the prosecution for politically-motivated reasons.  My basic response: of course he was, welcome to life.  Spent at least 10 minutes on the phone with the guy and not one single quote in a 3 on-line page article.  As if I didn’t have enough reason to dislike Politico.  I’m quotable, damnit!

Anyway, yesterday the judge decided that a trial will proceed.  Just seems like a huge waste of the government’s time and money.  Edwards is a cad, not a crook.   I had not thought, though, of the most obvious reason the government should not be prosecuting Edwards: John Ensign.  Via TPM:

Lawyers for former Democratic presidential candidate and Senator John Edwards have a question for the Justice Department officials prosecuting his case: what ever happened with that whole John Ensign thing?

During a hearing in federal court in North Carolina Edwards lawyer Abbe Lowell cited the $96,000 check that Ensign’s parents gave to his mistress as a severance payment, the Associated Press reports. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed the case against Ensign against the recommendation of its general counsel because they found the payment was just a gift.

Does seem like quite a precedent.  Alas, we’ll be hearing more about this in the Spring.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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