KausFiles

Is Obama another Edwards?

Maybe I’m missing something, but if Obama’s pal Dr. Eric Whitaker did offer Rev. Wright $150,000 to stay silent for the duration of the campaign, as charged by Ed Klein, how exactly is that different from John Edwards’ pal Fred Baron giving Rielle Hunter money to stay out of the limelight for the duration of the campaign? It’s a good question asked by lawyer/blogger Ted Frank. … Like Frank and Prof. Rick Hasen, I think the Edwards prosecution is misguided, potentially criminalizing lots of donations that might have ulterior political motives (like money spent funding think tanks or making hagiographic documentary movies). But if what Edwards did is fair game for prosecutors, why isn’t what Obama potentially did (assuming you could show a) that Obama knew of Whitaker’s offer, and b) also that he knew it was illegal–the latter being something the prosecution has had trouble proving in the Edwards matter)? …

One difference, I suppose, is that in the Edwards case the money was actually paid, while Wright is said to have turned down the offer. But is that a defense?  If you try to use illegal campaign cash to buy TV time, but the station turns you down, can’t you still be prosecuted for trying? …

Backfill: See also John Rosenberg’s Discriminations. …