Sex in the Time of Remission
0 comment Friday, May 23, 2014 |
Per the New York Times, John Edwards is poised to acknowledge that he, not Andrew Young, is the father of Rielle Hunter's baby girl. Mr. Young's soldiering wife Cherie is pictured below.
Well, knock me over with a feather. We foretold this outcome months ago, didn't we?
Recall that Andrew Young, an Edwards aide, initially fell on the sword and claimed that he was the father of Ms. Hunter's baby.
Err, not any more. In Mr. Young's new book, according to the NYT, he writes,
"Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band."Ewww! Eww! Eww, eww, eww! Remember when he stressed that Elizabeth's cancer was in remission during his dapper dalliances with his paramour, Ms. Hunter? That was bad enough.
But wait! Before you dismiss this as an obnoxious re-bloggering tabloid, let me explain a lawyer's legitimate interest in this tangled legal web.
The feds, as you may recall, are criminally investigating Mr. Edwards for possible violations of campaign laws.

By way of background, it seems Fred Baron made payments to Ms. Hunter. But Mr. Baron said he made these payments on his own volition, and that Edwards never knew.

Mr. Young, on the other hand, has quite a different story. He says Edwards knew all along that Baron was paying Ms. Hunter to make her comfortable, to cover up their affair. And that Edwards was eager for Mr. Baron to make these payments.
Can the two versions be reconciled, given that Fred Baron died last year?
Umm, I don't know. Because this sticky wicket involves the "dead man's statute." It's a rule of evidence that generally precludes the admission of a dead person's statements into evidence, if the statements are being offered for the truth of their contents.
You cannot say, in a will contest, for example, that Granny's will should be scrapped because, by God, she wanted you to have it all and told you so in her apple orchard.
On the other hand, what if Mr. Baron had walked into a restaurant shortly before signing his will, and declared to the hostess, "I am the King of England!"? Well then, this statement would be admissible. Not because it might be true (we all know Mr. Baron was never a king), but because it shows the fellow was non compos mentis; a loon, in other words, and therefore not mentally fit to make a will.
But back to the here and now. Baron's statements that Mr. Edwards had no idea Baron was helping Ms. Hunter financially? That Baron's payments came from his own bank account and not Mr. Edwards's campaign account? Hmm. Since they're not being used to overturn a will, it's harder to say.
Of course, if these statements by Mr. Baron were dying declarations, uttered in causa mortis, it might be a different matter. But there's no evidence of that.
My at-first-blush conclusion, were you to ask, is that Mr. Baron's exonerating statements of Edwards are inadmissible. But this is only preliminary. Thankfully I'm not the judge.
In the meantime, someone should hire me to write law school exams. There is more real-life fodder for fact patterns here than any fictional source I could ever hope to find.

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