I suppose one shouldn't be surprised that the key message emanating from the John Edwards defense team is that former aide Andrew Young is to blame for any violations of the law that may have taken place in the Rielle Hunter affair and baby fiasco during and after the aborted 2008 Edwards presidential campaign. The lawyers want us to know that while their tarnished ex-golden boy client may be a poor excuse for a human being, we should apparently conclude he's no lawbreaker.
It remains disappointing, to say the least, that John Edwards will never take responsibility for his actions. Granted, Andrew Young is no saint, but it appears as though John and Rielle will never acknowledge, much less apologize for, the ongoing humiliation and embarrassment they inflicted on Elizabeth until her final breath. Their actions were nothing short of despicable, but now the question becomes, were they legal?
Fred Baron served as the Edwards campaign finance chairman, and he maintained shortly before his death in late October, 2008 that he had provided financial assistance to Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young without Edwards' knowledge or direction. It's highly questionable the same can be said regarding money given by then 97 year old Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, with whom Edwards met privately on several occasions. Beginning in May of 2007, Mellon provided more than $725,000 to John Edwards over the course of an eight month period. Check notes obscurely referred to "chairs", "bookcases", and an"antique Charleston table". The FBI interviewed Mellon on two occasions in 2010 as they believed these funds were used to secretly support Hunter during her preganancy and subsequently following the birth or her illicit child with Edwards. Mellon's son and three grandsons appeared before a grand jury in December of 2010, and Edwards was indicted in June of 2011 for using campaign funds to help cover-up an affair and pregnancy during the 2008 presidential campaign. One week prior to this indictment Edwards met privately with Mellon. As she is now considered to be a potential witness, the judge has forbidden Edwards from meeting her again.
Taking into account these unusual financial ties, it's hard to imagine John Edwards didn't completely control the money flow. Likewise, it's impossible to believe that someone as reportedly unstable and media hungry as Rielle would allow herself to be silenced and willingly go along with a cover up of this nature unless she believed her "Johnny" was at the helm.
I'm sure that those of us who once believed in John Edwards and what he professed to stand for now believe to the depth of our souls that he not only knew about but actually conceived of this entire misappropriation of campaign funds... anything to hide the truth.