Monday, May 21, 2012

YSN~Fw: "Politics: Twice-Told Tales"

Twice-Told Tales
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Twice-Told Tales
There were no big revelations in the John Edwards trial. That's why he can lose.
By David Weigel
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012, at 10:51 PM ET
The grade-A dynamite evidence in the John Edwards trial, Exhibit 128, was a letter from the reclusive heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, dated April 21, 2007, and addressed to Edwards' body man/consigliere/sycophant Andrew Young. Mellon was incensed at a Politico scoop about her candidate billing a pricey haircut to his campaign.
"It inspired me," she wrote. "From now on, all hair cuts etc. that are necessary and important parts of his campaign … Please send the bills to me c/o Alex Farger in N. York. It is a way to help our friends without government restrictions.
Bang. This, according to government prosecutor David Harbach, proved that Mellon was intending to dodge campaign finance laws. The letter was the gorilla glue in the government's June 2011 indictment of Edwards. If Edwards goes down—the jury started deliberating today—this will be why. Mellon, according to the government, was the enabler of a massive conspiracy.
But figuring this out didn't take a lot of digging by prosecutors. Mellon's letter appeared in Young's February 2010 cash-grab memoir, The Politician. Young described a letter "written in delicate script on pale blue stationary," and explained what it promised. Mellon eventually cut six checks with phony memo lines ("antique chair") to pay for the lifestyle of Edwards's pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter.
The most surprising fact about the John Edwards' trial is how unsurprising it was. In two years and three months, over the entire discovery period, the government's prosecutors ...
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