John Edwards Trial: Justice Department Drops All Charges

The politician will not face a retrial, government lawyers announced Wednesday

Photo: Gerry Broome/AP

John Edwards will not face another trial.

On Wednesday, government lawyers asked Judge Catherine Eagles to dismiss their case with prejudice and will not attempt to resurrect their case against the former North Carolina senator.

Two weeks ago, a federal jury in Greensboro, N.C., found Edwards, 59, not guilty on one campaign finance charge, but they couldn’t reach a decision on five other counts.

A mistrial was declared on the outstanding charges.

“We knew that this case – like all campaign finance cases – would be challenging. But it is our duty to bring hard cases when we believe that the facts and the law support charging a candidate for high office with a crime,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement Wednesday. “The jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict on five of the six counts of the indictment, however, and we respect their judgment. In the interest of justice, we have decided not to retry Mr. Edwards on those counts.”

Edwards’s attorneys responded to the news on Wednesday, saying in a statement, “We are grateful that the Justice Department, after hearing from the jury, has dismissed the remaining charges in this case. As we stated in our motions and arguments in court, the novel theory of campaign law violations charged by the Justice Department is not a crime.”

“While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply,” the statement continues. “We are confident that the outcome of any new trial would have been the same. We are very glad that, after living under this cloud for over three years, John and his family can have their lives back and enjoy the peace they deserve.”

Related Articles