Setback for John Edwards defense team?
Legal debate over trial developments
- Duration 5:17
- Date May 17, 2012
Legal debate over trial developments
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This transcript is automatically generated
Closing arguments underway in the John Edwards federal corruption trial his defense team resting.
After weeks of often dramatic testimony.
But could the judge's latest ruling be a major setback for the former senator and one time presidential candidate.
Let's talk about it with Fred TC -- former federal prosecutor and Jennifer -- -- criminal defense attorney you're the attorneys Fred can you explain to me the significance of what this judge.
-- -- did take a test to be a lawyer will put that aside for a minute okay but the judge ruled with a touch year old John.
Was is that his defense one of the judge to instruct the jury.
That the government had to prove that the money was solely to help the campaign in -- government argued that under the statute.
As long as that was one of the purposes it just can be an insignificant purpose.
But as long -- -- was one of the purposes and that was enough and that's what she's gonna charge the jury on.
And and sell that makes it easier I presume Jennifer -- jury to find a continued to convict.
The prosecution to get up there and say -- did a lot of credit from his wife shared -- wanna hide it from the media the public yes.
But that doesn't matter ladies and gentlemen so long as you find that -- the purposes was.
To allow him more easily to be elected and this went to advance the campaign but -- -- day.
What the government has not demonstrated.
Is that John Edwards intentionally knowingly willfully.
Violated campaign lots.
And want to incredible piece of evidence is that the Federal Election Commission the agency.
That is designated to administer and enforce.
Is -- known that this was not I can't think contribution -- typically.
Your mind that -- what at cherry finds that Edwards is guilty on and that.
They -- -- -- that twelve -- people know better than the Federal Election Commission.
Now -- and that's not what this -- and.
No that's not understand first boys charged with conspiracy conspiracy to accept expand and money and secondly conspiracy to make a false statement.
To the Federal Election Commission this is not.
That's why aren't gonna let you send money going to see what -- -- campaign I don't let me think a lot Jennifer you gotta let me finish okay.
That just doesn't let this guy testify because in his opinion it wasn't a crime that's not part that's not all the crime that was charged the he was charged with.
Accepting illegal campaign contributions Sharon unleash -- my counts of kids being Irish Republicans eager to see government that I felt that there was an agreement to break the law he knew about it and took one step in furtherance of it.
No he has fine for.
And they can't contribution that knowing -- I -- okay and nothing that counts Gerri good ideal not all that charge you two are discharged if immune to you know holder is a big fancy law degrees can't agree on -- -- -- are.
-- like how it's got out of there -- Yeah I want to Jerry should've never -- what Jerry yeah yeah.
On the during the Q and now why the promotions to -- -- they were denied but it should never be there have been all right but it and Freddie.
True I mean -- the judge's ruling again which sort of watered.
Down or maybe lowered the bar for a conviction here.
Doesn't have it effectively mean that.
If this jury fines if his jury decides that he really was trying to just hide this.
Pregnancy in a -- from his wife.
That that in effect helps boost his political career because it keeps his wife on board.
And and that in and of itself is reason enough to convict him is isn't that the case for a well well for three got it it got to -- -- -- to Jennifer is right a lot of respect on the substantive counts but you gotta read it charges let me part of the charges are.
That he conspired to hide this in this is an expense that would have not been incurred.
But for the campaign and and but for the campaign they would not have needed this money to keep this woman quiet so.
It the end of the day John I hear you're saying but you -- remember you gotta read the indictment what was charged.
And part of that was conspiracy it is very conceivable -- right about this that -- quit on the substantive charges.
About accepting a false campaign contributions they convict on the conspiracy to hide that so that the FTC could make a decision one way or the other and.
Mental state with conspiracy they're still a man's ram requirements they have to travel that you know -- Like this every -- it's a concern apparently not -- have to show you it.
And so other good duck could put him until that I haven't seen and not announce that it even their own witness Cheri young fad.
He told us he told us that he was perfectly legal legal they have a present one piece about -- I'm not going to tell.
The body of pal Mary with the conversation with a Elizabeth Edwards there but the Barron's was compelling he -- there needs -- what.
-- he knew exactly what was going on it's going to be interesting to see what this jury comes up with them we hope they can agree on a law unlike YouTube.
-- for -- in Fred TC.
Thank you thank thank you have -- -- to see what happens next -- can -- be in jail and jail time.
Weren't -- nothing for for -- -- it could be a case of how the mighty have fallen -- you know from -- -- facts stories somewhere realized gosh.
I know for ready for.
Well we'll think we'll see what happens health.