Federal Prosecutors Drop Charges Against John Edwards, Will Not Seek New Trial

After seeing a month long trial end in an acquittal on one charge and hung jury on the remaining five, Federal prosecutors have decided to drop all charges against former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards:

GREENSBORO, N.C.—Federal prosecutors have moved to drop all charges against John Edwards after his corruption trial ended last month in a deadlocked jury.

A jury in North Carolina acquitted the former presidential candidate last month on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions. It deadlocked on five other felony counts, resulting in a mistrial on those charges.

A U.S. Justice Department statement on Wednesday said prosecutors will not seek to retry Edwards on the five unresolved counts.

This isn’t entirely surprising. As I discussed at several points leading up to and after the trial, the legal case against Edwards was rather than, at least on the campaign finance charges that the U.S. Attorney chose to proceed on, and there’s no reason to believe that a subsequent trial would have ended any differently than the first one did. So, Edwards is free to go back to living whatever kind of life he lives at this point, hopefully never again to return to the public spotlight.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    What a fiasco.

  2. As I said when the trial ended, these charges probably never should’ve been brought. Being a scumbag isn’t a crime. If it was, our prisons would be filled to overflowing.