PLEDGE NOW
John Edwards On Trial

John Edwards on trial, accused of using nearly a million dollars in campaign funds to hide an affair. Is he a cad or a criminal? Should he be facing up to 30 years in jail?

In this April 12, 2012, file photo, former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John Edwards arrives outside federal court following a lunch break in Greensboro, N.C., during jury selection in his criminal trial on alleged campaign finance violations. Defense lawyers for John Edwards will argue at his trial that much of the nearly $1 million in secret payments at issue in the criminal case against their client were actually siphoned off by a trusted aide to build an expansive dream home. (AP)

In this April 12, 2012, file photo, former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John Edwards arrives outside federal court following a lunch break in Greensboro, N.C., during jury selection in his criminal trial on alleged campaign finance violations. (AP)

The trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards going on now in North Carolina is hard to watch.  The testimony is so sad.  So tawdry.  A dying and deeply betrayed wife.  A hidden mistress and daughter.  A million dollars, nearly, sloshing around to keep them out of sight.  The whole thing makes you want to say “no” and “wrong.”

But should it put John Edwards in prison for maybe 30 years?   We want accountability on campaign spending.  But when the personal and political get so twisted, do we want to criminalize a run for high office?

This hour, On Point:  John Edwards on trial.

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

Hampton Dellinger, litigation partner with Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson. He is also a legal analyst for MSNBC and the former state deputy Attorney General in North Carolina.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Walter Shapiro, a columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review and Yahoo! News, and special correspondent to The New Republic. Read his preview to the John Edwards trial.

From Tom’s Reading List

Charlotte Observer “Remember how in the Bible, Moses’ punishment for disobedience was being denied entry into the Promised Land?”

National Review “If being a louse were a crime, John Edwards would hang for it. But he is instead facing prison for alleged campaign-finance violations, and it is our obligation to come unenthusiastically to his defense.”

Chicago Tribune “Jurors in the federal criminal trial of John Edwards were clearly not given a primer on the intricacies of the campaign finance laws he is accused of violating. Instead, they listened to Andrew Young, the former presidential candidate’s once-trusted aide, describe how Edwards called his mistress a “crazy slut,” used a secret “Bat phone” to call her, and accepted money from rich friends to pay her expenses.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

A new police murder charge and a black man dead in Ohio. Iran Deal heat and Huckabee. Malaysia Air. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

 
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

A new police murder charge and a black man dead in Ohio. Iran Deal heat and Huckabee. Malaysia Air. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 31, 2015
Friday, Jul 31, 2015

A regular reminder that RTs are not endorsements, links have specific authorship and patience is a virtue.

More »
1 Comment
 
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment