When a Republican senator said that presidential lying was a big deal:
— Jack Pitney (@jpitney) December 15, 2018"I think it will be devastating. ... This case is requiring parents and teachers to sit down and explain what lying's all about. This case has created confusion. This case is hitting America far harder than America knows it's been hit."- L. Graham, 1999 https://t.co/pITXDIkVq3— Jack Pitney (@jpitney) December 14, 2018
Although nothing in the Constitution or federal law explicitly says presidents are immune from indictment while they remain in office, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has asserted that they are. A newly disclosed legal memo from the office of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton, challenges that analysis. The National Archives made the memo public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The New York Times.When a conservative legal scholar said that federal election law applies to payoffs. Hans von Spakovsky on John Edwards:
My experience on the FEC led me to conclude that federal campaign-finance laws are too complex, too ambiguous, and too restrictive. They help ensure the safety of incumbents and make it much more difficult for challengers. We would be better served with a system that did not limit the amount of campaign contributions, but simply required full disclosure of all donations so that voters can make their own decisions on how important it is to them that candidates are receiving funds from particular contributors.
But the gifts made on behalf of Edwards by his campaign contributors to keep this potential scandal quiet were intended to help him stay in the 2008 presidential race as a viable candidate. They would not have been made if not for Edwards’s status as a federal candidate, and they were linked to a federal election. They should be considered illegal campaign contributions under federal law and applicable FEC regulations and advisory opinions. A jury may end up disagreeing that Edwards knew that what he was doing was illegal, but if the government’s facts are correct, then John Edwards should be held accountable for violating federal law.