16 June 2011

Prosecutorial Misconduct Against Senator Edwards? His Funny Mugshots

Dodd and John Edwards got into a war of ads in...Image via Wikipedia

The Trial

From Denny:  In an obvious political vendetta using the power of the federal government at an  unwelcome taxpayer expense - for what does not rise to a criminal level - President Obama and Atty. Gen. Holder indicted former Senator John Edwards last week on six weak-as-rainwater counts -  supposedly on campaign finance law violations.

Political skunks in the Democratic Party

Obama, and the political skunks of Team Obama - Axelrod, Plouffe and Holder - are going for blood. You see, the obvious strategy is to lay the trap for Edwards, keeping him pinned down for the rest of the campaign season. These crazies have it in their head that it is Edwards that will come out of nowhere and challenge Obama for the 2012 election.

2012 Democratic challenger? 

Edwards was never meant to be the challenger. In fact, the challenger does not yet know he will run for the 2012 bid. But, when the time is right, he will step into the ring at the right moment, capture the public's imagination and trounce Obama and the Republicans. That's a highly likely scenario given this trash economy.

The reality is that Obama just trapped himself, not Edwards. Already the public sentiment is against the government. The public is in an ugly anti-government mood already and this clueless unnecessary prosecution just adds fuel to the fire.

In fact, this messy prosecution is building to become Obama's political firestorm.

Indictment document downright weird

Did you read this document? It's strange and it's vicious. It reads like a gossip column when a critic is angry a celebrity did not notice them in the crowd - legal version.

In legal parlance it's labeled as a "speaking indictment." According to Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst, "It's an indictment that really makes the case, that really sort of outlines the evidence and really sticks it to the defendant" meant to embarrass him. "There is a lot of technically extraneous material that is very insulting and (intended to be) very damaging."

The usual manner of which to lay out an indictment document is to give a concise "bare-bones" simple listing of allegations related to potential abuses.  Like "don't waste my time trying the case until you get to court" kind of document for the judge to read.

Instead, this document goes on ad nauseum in lurid detail - and with a gossipy writing voice like a GOP presidential campaign ad - that is certainly not suitable for a formal courtroom situation. It's the kind of document when the jury hears it read to them they will be mightily turned off to its crass tone.

Is it any wonder people hate lawyers?  They are always ready to stick a knife in you.  Political strategists like Axelrod and Plouffe are their identical twin brothers.

This is basically how the indictment should have read

The indictment, returned in the Middle District of North Carolina, charges Johnny Reid Edwards, 58, of Chapel Hill, N.C., with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal campaign finance laws and to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC); four counts of accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions from two donors in 2007 and 2008; and one count of concealing those illegal donations from the FEC.

Edwards pleads not guilty and fights the charges, going to trial

Edwards refused to roll over and give Holder and Obama what they wanted: his annihilation.  They wanted his law license and him in jail for a life time.  Why would anyone agree to life in prison for a frivolous prosecution without fighting it out in court?  Did they really think they could so embarrass him he would capitulate?

Talk about heavy-handed prosecutors and miscalculating to boot.  These guys are bone head stupid.  When you tell a person you are going to take away their life, separate them as a single parent from their children and destroy their career then that person's back is up against the wall.

The dumbest strategy for winning is to try and crush someone.  You must always give them a way to win something respectable.  Instead, Obama and his team turn to the ugliest of politics, meant to destroy a man "just because they can."  Power wielded unwisely brings dire consequences to fools like in this White House. For some reason they have it in their heads they are untouchable.

Edwards' statement

Edwards admits to personal failings.  He knows he did not break the law.  "There’s no question that I’ve done wrong," said Edwards in front of the federal courthouse in North Carolina when the indictment was filed. "I take full responsibility for having done wrong. I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others. But I did not break the law. And I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.”

Sen. Edwards/U.S. Marshall's Service

Edwards' mugshots most entertaining

Obama, Holder, Axelrod and Plouffe took great pleasure in running Edwards through the arrest process. They handcuffed him, fingerprinted him, demanded mugshots and then made him sit in the jail cell to prove their dominance over him.  The word is the Obama crowd enjoyed being cruel to Edwards.

What did Edwards do?  He took it all in stride, waiting for his day in court.  But not before throwing these political jackals a curve ball.  He smiled in his mugshots for the U.S. Marshall's Service.  Who in the heck smiles for a mugshot?

What a funny and great thing to do; well played, Team Edwards!  Talk about a proper psy-ops in the true tradition of a good intelligence operative.  You sure made me grin. Thumbs up on that idea.  Nothing unnerves the opposition more than to view a confident guy who does not look guilty or embarrassed in his mugshot.  It's no wonder that Holder held on to the mugshot as long as he did.  Yet again Holder miscalculated and looked stupid.

Condemning the indictment as heavy-handed and wrong

Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) condemns it, " The DOJ could come out of the trial looking badly because the allegations are not likely to hold up against Edwards."

“Sen. Edwards’s (personal) conduct (in regards to his family) was despicable and deserves society’s condemnation, but that alone does not provide solid grounds for a criminal case,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. “DOJ’s scattershot approach to prosecuting public officials is incomprehensible and undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Former FEC commissioner Scott Thomas, said "the money really didn't constitute campaign donations and, therefore, did not violate campaign laws."

"It is my view that, under the law as developed by the United States courts and the Federal Election Commission, these payments would not be considered to be either campaign contributions or campaign expenditures within the meaning of the campaign finance laws; that the Federal Election Commission, if asked, would conclude that these payments did not constitute a violation of the law, even as a civil matter; and that the facts do not make out a knowing and willful violation of the campaign finance laws warranting criminal prosecution."

Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) slammed the DOJ’s case against Edwards. Davis had worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Alabama for 4 years. He said, " the indictment is lacking any solid foundation, such as charges that Edwards obstructed justice charges or made false statements."

“Trials aren’t sporting competitions and it’s easy for the public to view this as a sporting match.”

“The reality is an indictment should be brought when it’s a case that serves the public’s interest and when these are facts that justify depriving someone of their liberty and their freedom. From what I see of the facts, this is a stretch to charge John Edwards.

Davis also went on to observe that the government and Edwards are entering into “a legal war.”  The DOJ attorneys should not rely on Edwards’s tarnished image to convince a jury of his guilt.

"Any assumptions about a slam-dunk conviction need look no further than the hung jury in the first Rod Blagojevich trial in Chicago.  Juries are focused on facts, not personalities.”

Prosecutorial misconduct?

This is what is weighing upon my mind for the past week as I rolled around in my head this whole bizarre incident. After you spend some time with that indictment document you walk away feeling like you need to stand in the shower for an hour. Yes, it leaves you with that bad a stench.

So, with the gossipy indictment that no competent lawyer would write, let alone file in court, combined with their additional heavy-handed treatment of how they processed Edwards for arrest, it sure has my suspicion hackles up.

Gee, maybe there really was an upside to growing up inside the annoying CIA of so many obnoxious aggressive people.  I sure have a well developed BS detector after being around so many professional liars.  I can also easily ferret out crooks, thugs, jackals, political weasels and hyenas.  I can look at photos and know what people are up to.

The only kind of people who act like Team Holder are crooks, liars and the incompetent thugs of the world. You find them in politics, government, business and religion. In short, they are bullies that have accessed power to wield and choose to do so unwisely. (That's the polite version.)

What annoys me more is Team Holder are using who knows how much of taxpayer funds to carry out their political vendettas and act upon their jealousies and insecurities. Notice we have yet to see just how much the Justice Department has spent upon pursuing Edwards the past two years. I think if the public found out we would be outraged at the rash expense.

Edwards' trial strategy

If I were on Team Edwards - and I'm not - I sure would send out a horde of investigators to check into the lawyering records and backgrounds of all these attorneys involved in the prosecution. Something stinks here and it always stinks from the top down in any corporation or government.

The word on the proverbial street is that there is gross misconduct on the part of the prosecutors. People have been coerced by these government lawyers to give them the case they desire, not what is the whole truth.

And, I suspect by now, Team Edwards has started to find out about the sins over at the Holder Justice Department. Definitely, it's time to shut down this Edwards' case and for Obama to fire his henchmen: Eric Holder, his assistants, the seven lawyers lined up against Edwards, hell, the entire the Justice Dept. A clean sweep of incompetence and corruption. Perhaps, it's about time to start over.

Obama's sins to be revealed during Edwards' trial 

One thing is for sure: a lot will come out during this trial that will expose the political corruption in this Obama White House. I hear 2012 will be a bear of an election year, even more so with all these political leaks and one seriously damning political firestorm on its way like a devastation tornado.

Politics, using the power of the Justice Dept. to pursue a man wrongly, depriving him of his freedom and his career, is unacceptable. We all should stand up to, and refuse to support, this toxic attitude of using the power of our government to play dangerous games, especially when it involves extravagant taxpayer expense as is evidenced here.

One of these centuries the voters will elect people who are serious about quality leadership and want to solve the country's ills instead of embarrassing us with these trivial ego pursuits. We have bigger problems to solve in this country.

* * * See also related posts * * *

Obama, Team Obama Unfairly Piling On: Prosecutes Populist John Edwards

Time To Fire Atty Gen. Eric Holder: Outrageous Changing The Law to Prosecute Edwards

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