The John Edwards trial is officially over, and it appears that the Justice Department will not be seeking a retrial in the allegations that the ex-Senator used campaign funding to cover up an affair with Rielle Hunter.
The announcement comes after jurors in North Carolina acquitted Edwards on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions, but deadlocked on five other felony counts, resulting in the judge declaring a mistrial, according to The Huffington Post.
A statement by the Justice Department on Wednesday stated that Prosecutors will not retry the case. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer stated of the case that:
“Last month, the government put forward its best case against Mr. Edwards, and I am proud of the skilled and professional way in which our prosecutors…. conducted this trial.”
According to The Boston Globe, if Edwards had been found guilty at the trial, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison, plus $1.5 million in fines, if he was convicted of all charges. Understandably, Edwards’ lawyers–Abbe Lowell, Allison Van Laningham, and Alan W. Duncan–were pleased with the government’s decision to drop the charges against their client. they also noted that they believe another trial would have ended in the same way. They said:
“While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply. We are very glad that, after living under this cloud for over three years, John and his family can have their lives back and enjoy the peace they deserve.”
What do you think of the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to drop the charges against John Edwards?