Friday, June 3, 2011
With today's indictment of John Edwards on charges that he violated campaign-finance laws by accepting $925,000 from donors to conceal an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter and resulting pregnancy, one element sure to be central to his defense is that his major donor treated the payments as gifts and reported them on gift tax returns. From the Los Angeles Times:
The money came from two Edwards supporters — his national campaign finance chairman, Fred Baron, who died in 2008, and banking heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who is 100. ... Mellon provided about $700,000. ... According to Mellon's attorney, she gave the money to Edwards as a personal gift and filed a gift tax return.
See also Huffington Post, DOJ is Wasting Time and Money on Edwards Case: "Edwards' lawyer says that one of the donors, the heiress Bunny Mellon, considered this money a personal gift to Edwards and filed a gift tax return." For more on today's developments, see::