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July 25, 2004
Edwards Returning Tainted Donations From Longtime Trial-Attorney Supporter

In a pre-convention embarrassment, John Edwards announced that he will return over $40,000 in donations bundled by longtime supporter Pierce O'Donnell, who faces election-fraud investigations by federal and California law enforcement:

John Edwards is returning $44,035 in contributions raised by a wealthy Los Angeles lawyer for his presidential primary campaign. The decision to return the money was made because the fund-raising activities of lawyer and longtime Edwards supporter Pierce O'Donnell are being investigated by federal and California elections officials, the Kerry-Edwards campaign said Sunday. Newsweek first reported the story. ...

Some of the suspect contributions were made in the name of persons associated with O'Donnell's law firm, including one person who was not registered to vote and two who had filed for bankruptcy, Newsweek reported.

The magazine said that some of the same purported contributors were listed as $2,000 donors to the Edwards' campaign.

It appears as though O'Donnell ran a money-laundering operation for contributions to Democrats, like Edwards and James Hahn. Will this be the kind of activity we can expect from the trial-lawyer lobby as the presidential campaign wears on? And if O'Donnell has supported Edwards in the past, we should ask how much he's brought to Edwards and under what conditions. After all, it's not as though O'Donnell could possibly have been ignorant of the law.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 25, 2004 6:56 PM

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