...Even the campaign-finance obsessives at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) consider the case an overreach. CREW points out an absurdity that follows from the government’s argument. If keeping Rielle Hunter quiet is rightly considered a campaign expenditure, as the prosecutors maintain, then the Edwards campaign could have funded her living expenses directly without breaking any rules. "Love child" could have been a legitimate line item in the budget somewhere between "get out the vote" and "phone banks."
The prosecution is a naked exercise in attempting to punish a loathsome man for his loathsomeness. As such it is an offense against the rule of law, which depends on clear rules and dispassionate judgments. Every wrong — even flagrant wrongs, played out in public and involving mind-boggling deceit — is not a crime. By stretching the laws to try to reach Edwards, the government is creating the predicate for future ambiguous, politicized prosecutions, perhaps of figures much less blameworthy than the reviled man currently in the dock.
John Edwards belongs under a rock, but not in jail.