What Now For John Edwards and Campaign Finance?
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Legal disarray after former White House hopeful John Edwards' mistrial leaves experts concerned about campaign finances in a presidential election year. (June 1)


(NOTES: AP Video / Pool Video Edwards after jury verdict, Greensboro, North Carolina - 31 May 2012)AFTER A SIX WEEK TRIAL, THE JURY IN JOHN EDWARD'S CAMPAIGN FINANCE FRAUD CASE CLEARED HIM ON ONE COUNT _ AND COULDN'T REACH A VERDICT IN THE OTHER FIVE.EDWARDS WAS FACING CHARGES THAT HE USED NEARLY A MILLION DOLLARS FROM WEALTHY POLITICAL DONORS TO HIDE HIS PREGNANT MISTRESS RIELLE HUNTER _ FROM THE PUBLIC AND HIS TERMINALLY ILL WIFE _ WHILE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008.(SOT: Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington)"John Edwards was ... behaved despicably, his conduct is odious, there is not enough negative adjectives to describe John Edwards and what he did _ but that said, you don't send people to jail just because you hate them and luckily the jury recognized that as awful as what John Edwards did, none of that is actually criminal."VOICE OVER:A FORMER TRIAL LAWYER HIMSELF, EDWARDS WAS UNIMPRESSED WITH THE PROSECUTION CASE.(SOT: John Edwards)"While I do not believe that I did anything illegal or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong."VOICE OVER:EDWARD'S PERSONAL AND POLITICAL REPUTATION HAS BEEN LEFT IN TATTERS. (SOT: Merle Black, Emory University political science professor) "I think John Edwards has no political future. Nada, zip, catoop, it's over with. The Democratic Party doesn't want to have any association with him."VOICE OVER:PROFESSOR MERLE BLACK BELIEVES EDWARDS HAS BETRAYED SO MANY PEOPLE THAT HE NEEDS TO STEP BACK FROM THE PUBLIC ARENA.(SOT: Merle Black, Emory University political science professor) "I think he needs to go private for a good while if he wanted to make a comeback and take on a public role it would be sometime in the future, but not in the immediate future."VOICE OVER:IT IS ALSO UNCLEAR WHETHER EDWARDS WILL FACE A RETRIAL. TRIAL WATCHERS SAY THE JURY'S DECISION CONFIRMED EARLY CRITICISMS THAT THE CASE WAS A REACH _ THAT THE PROSECUTORS WENT AFTER THE EX-U.S. SENATOR WITHOUT THE KIND OF EVIDENCE THAT JUSTIFIED THE CHARGES.MELANIE SLOAN SAYS THE VERDICT IS A HUGE EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.(SOT: Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington)"There is still going to be a lot of confusion out there about the state of campaign finance law. What is a campaign contribution, what kind of expenditures must be reported and none of that is resolved by this case because DOJ hasn't put any clarity on what kind of cases it will bring in the future."SLOAN WORRIES THAT WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS POURING INTO THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES NEED TO BE MADE MUCH MORE CLEAR.TRACY BROWNASSOCIATED PRESS