John Edwards is guilty of many things — stupidity, venality, arrogance and a callous cruelty among others — but a jury of his peers has found him not guilty of Count Three in the six-count federal indictment against him.
The jury deadlocked on the remaining five charges, and the judge in the case has declared a mistrial on those counts.
For the time being, at least, the verdict means that Edwards has won his gamble not to admit guilt and to fight the charges against him, which focus on alleged abuse of campaign finance laws. I can’t claim to have followed the case closely enough to have an opinion on the legal outcome, in part because as indicated above, I had already reached a conclusion about the man himself, and it wasn’t good. It was enough to know that the country had dodged a bullet in not elevating him to the vice presidency or higher, and that his reputation was forever ruined.
As Roy Barnes, a former Edwards supporter, put it recently, “There are some people who ought to be taken out from a courthouse, tied to an oak tree and just whipped. I think he fits into that category.”
I’m sure Barnes was speaking figuratively when he said that. At least I think he was.
– Jay Bookman