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John Edwards is breathing a sigh of relief after the jury in his illegal campaign contribution case found him not guilty on one count and couldn't agree on the other five charges. As a result, the judge has declared a mistrial, meaning that the former presidential candidate is a free man.
It rook nine days for the jury to come to any decision, leaving plenty of time for rumors to take off that Edwards, the admitted adulterer, was possibly flirting with some of the alternate jurors. But given the amount of time the jury took, and the end result, only one thing is clear -- charging someone with illegally using more than $1 million in campaign contributions to hide the truth about a mistress and baby mama might not even violate federal election law.
The one count jurors agreed on had to do with what I like to call Funny Bunny Money -- funds that longtime Edwards' supporter Rachel "Bunny" Mellon gave to him that she said were not contributions to his campaign efforts, but were merely made to help out a long-time friend. Government lawyers contended the cash Mellon gave to Edwards was a campaign contribution that exceeded the allowable federal limit. In this current age of unlimited Super-PAC dollars being able to be used for almost anything, it's unlikely Edwards will be charged again.
As a trial lawyer, Edwards is probably not celebrating quite yet because it's still possible that federal prosecutors could try him a second time on the unresolved charges. According to MSNBC, after the announcement Edwards told reporters:
“I want to make sure that everyone hears from me … that while I don’t believe I did anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins.”
So what's next for Edwards, Rielle Hunter and Edwards' young children? I'm guessing it doesn't involve a trip to Disney World.
You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!