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Wiley Rein's Jan Baran Discusses Criminal Charges against Former Sen. John Edwards

Politico
November 1, 2011

Wiley Rein Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Jan Baran talked to Politico about the criminal campaign finance charges against former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). As reported in the October 27 article, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles denied Sen. Edwards’ motion to dismiss the charges, which means he is likely to go to trial in January. Sen. Edwards faces allegations that he accepted illegal campaign contributions which led to the filing of false campaign finance reports. The money in question is from two supporters who allegedly paid to help support Sen. Edwards’ mistress and her daughter.

Speaking to Politico before the judge made her decision, Mr. Baran said he “doubted Eagles would throw the case out.” “It seems to me it boils down to factual issues and the principal issue is whether or not these payments were in connection with his campaign for president,” he said. “It depends on the evidence presented to the jury…..It would be highly unusual for a judge to dismiss a case dependent on the evidence that a crime was committed,” Mr. Baran added. He did say, however, “that defense arguments that the donors made the payments out of affection for Edwards or to help Edwards avoid angering his wife could lead to his acquittal.” “Everything has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are ambiguities, that is to the benefit of the defense,” Mr. Baran concluded.