JOHNNY REID “JOHN” EDWARDS: ‘Bunny’ dies: not guilty of campaign law violation
27 April, 2014
At Bunny Mellon’s funeral, the service was open to the public, so it was impossible to determine if former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), was welcome or if this was another stop on the Edwards Redemption Tour. Edwards and his eldest daughter, Cate, arrived too late to be seated in the church and were directed to a side building, where they joined the overflow crowd. After the service ended, Edwards stood near the gravesite, then worked the crowd. Published: March 28
In his 2012 memoir, “Dropped Names,” actor Frank Langella, a longtime friend of Rachel “Bunny” Lowe Lambert Mellon, wrote candidly about the Edwards episode. “ ‘Well I suppose it’s my own damn fault,’ she told me, ‘he was so attractive. White shirt, white pants, sleeves rolled up. And you know I’m weak on good looks.’ ”
Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the Listerine fortune heiress who married arts patron and philanthropist Paul Mellon, was a confidante of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and redesigned the White House Rose Garden, died March 17 at her home in Upperville, Va. She was 103. Rachel Lowe Lambert was born in New York on Aug. 9, 1910, into a family that had made its fortune producing Listerine mouthwash. Her father, Gerard, was president of the Gillette Safety Razor Co. Her paternal grandfather, chemist Jordan Lambert, was the inventor of Listerine, which was later marketed by her father. Her mother, Anne Elizabeth Parkhill, related to GHWB, GWB, “thomas walker” “Bush” At 101, she found herself improbably drawn into the legal battle of John Edwards, the former U.S. senator and presidential aspirant charged with violating campaign finance laws.
Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat, was tried in 2012 on charges that he took nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions from wealthy donors to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and conceal her from voters during his 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Prosecutors attributed more than $700,000 to Mrs. Mellon and $200,000 to Texas lawyer Fred Baron.
Mrs. Mellon, who was not accused of breaking any laws, was entranced by the charismatic Edwards and wanted to help his quest for the presidency after he was criticized during the campaign for having a $400 haircut, according to witnesses in the case. Edwards dropped out of the race in January 2008.
On May 30, 2012, a federal jury in Greensboro, N.C., acquitted Edwards of one charge, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges. The Justice Department later decided not to retry him on the five charges.
[May 31 2012]
In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v.JOHNNY REID EDWARDS, IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA, A federal jury of four women and eight men in Greensboro, North Carolina, today found Edwards not guilty of one count of violating campaign finance laws. On that charge, the government alleged that in 2008 Edwards knowingly accepted more money from campaign donor Rachel “Bunny” Mellon than was allowed by law and the judge declared a mistrial on the five other charges. [May 18]The prosecution and defense had given their closing arguments on May 17. The government retold its case, moving chronologically just like it did when presenting evidence on its side of the case. They asked the jury to use common sense when deliberating, in considering if Edwards was unaware of this entire effort.
Defense attorney said there is an important difference between a wrong and a crime. John Edwards committed an offense against his family but broke no law. He has committed a sin but no felony. He was a bad husband who tried desperately to hide his affair. He is not guilty of campaign finance violations. The other main thing that Lowell did today was really continue his assault on the prosecution’s key witness Andrew Young. The jury were taking notes for really the full four hours, a lot of eye contact with some of the lawyers. They were nodding at times with the defense attorneys, not sure what that means, whether they’re just following along or in agreement, but they were nodding along.
The defense team rested May 15 without calling the two-time Democratic presidential candidate or his one-time mistress to the witness stand, The defense rested after less than three days of testimony. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin May 16, and the jury is expected to start deliberations on May 17.
In violation of Title 2, United States Code, Sections 441a(a)(1)(A), 441a(f), and 437g(d)(1)(A)(i) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. Edwards is charged with knowingly and willfully accepting and receiving contributions in excess of the limits of the Election Act, and other crimes
Jurors were set to begin deliberating the fate of John Edwards on May 18.