Senior Communications Manager
Michael Toner Talks about the John Edwards Trial
Wiley Rein Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Michael Toner was interviewed by USA Today to discuss the criminal trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards, who is accused of breaking campaign finance laws in order to hide an extramarital affair. If convicted on all six felony counts, Mr. Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
USA Today reported that the lawyers for Mr. Edwards wrapped up their case last week “without calling either the former Democratic Presidential candidate or his former mistress to the stand. That decision, after a little more than two days of evidence, signals the defense team’s confidence that federal prosecutors have not proved Edwards’ broke campaign-finance laws as part of the elaborate scheme to cover up the extramarital affair.”
Mr. Toner, a former Federal Election Commission chairman, said the government may have fallen short of proving its case: “As odious as these payments were, they were not, as a legal matter, for the purpose of influencing a federal election.”