It’s going to take an awful lot of channelling of cerebral palsy victims to get out of this one:
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee and two-time presidential candidate John Edwards pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiracy and campaign law violations, acknowledging that he had “done wrong,” but denying that he broke the law.
His plea came hours after a federal grand jury indicted him on six counts, including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws.
“There’s no question that I’ve done wrong,” Edwards told reporters outside federal court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “But I did not break the law and I never, ever thought I was breaking the law.”
He was released on his own recognizance, but was ordered to surrender his passport and remain within the lower 48 states.
If convicted on all counts, Edwards would face up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1.5 million.
I have not follow the case closely enough to know how this will go down once it gets to a courtroom. As much as I despise Edwards, it does seem a bit of a reach to claim that supporters paying off his mistress constituted improper campaign contributions. But the weight of precedent and the grand jury seem to indicate that Edwards’ goose is cooked.