Edwards' campaign asked to repay almost $2.3 million
July 21st, 2011
12:13 PM ET
9 years ago

Edwards' campaign asked to repay almost $2.3 million

Washington (CNN) - Former presidential candidate John Edwards will have to pay back over $2 million in federal matching funds given to his 2008 campaign for president, the Federal Election Commission ruled on Thursday.

The commission voted 6 – 0 against Edwards and contends his campaign was in "excess of the Candidate's entitlement."

"At the end of the day if there were more matching funds received than campaign obligations at the point when the campaign ended you have to make a repayment, " Ellen Weintraub, FEC Commissioner said during the hearing.

This latest ruling comes on the heels of Edwards' indictment last month when a federal grand jury charged him with six counts, including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws

That indictment was brought up Thursday by FEC Commissioner Donald McGahn who called it "the pink elephant in the room." McGahn then asked other members of the Commission how a guilty verdict might impact Edwards' finance filings and force him to amend what the campaign spent. His trial is scheduled to start in October.

"This gets a little confusing, this has not come up like this before," FEC Commissioner Donald McGahn said during the hearing.

The FEC determined that Edwards had received just over 2.1 million dollars in matching funds after the campaign was winding down and Edwards was no longer in the race. The commission decided that in total his campaign must pay back $2,278,315 in excess matching funds.

According to the FEC, "Presidential candidates receive federal government funds to pay for the valid expenses of their political campaigns in both the primary and general elections."

Edwards was represented at the hearing by his lawyers who filed this response to the audit. "John Edwards for President did not receive any matching funds in excess of its entitlement, and hence, no repayment is due," they countered.

Edwards' presidential campaign committee says it has $2.6 million in cash-on-hand as of June 30, 2011. It is unclear whether Edwards will use this money to pay back the US Government or if he will seek an appeal, his attorneys left the hearing without comment.

Filed under: FEC • John Edwards
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Scott

    They never would have done anything about it if Edwards handn't got himself noticed by acting inappropriately. How many other "candidates" are toting around a few extra millions that were overlooked...

    July 21, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I thought they were finished beating this guy up. It's taken this long to figure out he owes money from a campaign that ended 4 years ago? Didn't he drop out in late summer 2007?

    July 21, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. gt

    slime bag ... good let him dig into his ill got gains and pay ...

    July 21, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. bipar08

    where does all of that money go??? it would be nice if it went toward the defecit

    July 21, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Good. A few less $400 hair cuts won't hurt him.

    July 21, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |

    The lesson from his troubles is this, folks: cheating on your significant other can cost you up to $2.3 million dollars or more.

    July 21, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. R

    "John Edwards must pay back $2.3 million that exceeded his matching funds from his 2008 campaign..."
    Good job reading the article Rudy NYC.

    Makes me sick knowing the mindless masses will sacrifice their hard earned money to give it to politicians on either side. Bad news is, your voice won't be heard, and you will be thrown under the bus whenever it suits their needs.

    July 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    I never knew John Edwards was a dead horse. I always thought he was a former politician who left public service in disgrace.

    July 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Life just keeps getting better and better for this lying, cheating scumbag Democrat doesn't it??!! Talk about bad karma!!! I wouldn't get within 10 miles of this guy. I'm sure a lightning strike is in the works...

    July 21, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    How many others did the same thing but won't be investigated so they will never be found out? Might be an interesting investgation IF THERE WERE ANY TRUE JOURNALISTS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    By the way – what's with 6 republican pictures on the 1st page of the ticker. Is this an ENTIRELY REPUBLICAN COUNTRY NOW?

    July 21, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Time for another change

    "I thought they were finished beating this guy up. It's taken this long to figure out he owes money from a campaign that ended 4 years ago? Didn't he drop out in late summer 2007?'

    Making excuses for a 2.3 million dollar campaign violation? Simply pathetic!

    July 21, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "I thought they were finished beating this guy up"

    Finished? Are you high??? He hasn't even been tried yet for campaign finance violations. He'll be done getting beat up when he walks out of jail in about 10 years. He wanted the white house. He's getting the big house.

    July 21, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |