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Edwards Donor – 6 Months For Illegal Donations

From the August 2011 archives of the Los Angeles Times:

Prominent lawyer pleads guilty in illegal campaign contribution case

By Victoria Kim | August 05, 2011

Prominent Southern California lawyer Pierce O’Donnell pleaded guilty Thursday to two misdemeanor federal charges of making illegal campaign contributions.

Pierce O’Donnell is a very prominent Hollywood attorney. He represented Art Buchwald represented in his successful copyright-infringement suit against Paramount. (Nobody ever wins lawsuits against the studios.) He also defended the James Bond franchise against copycats over the years.

In a plea agreement with prosecutors, O’Donnell admitted to asking 10 people, including employees of his law firm and at least one relative, to each make donations of $2,000. He then reimbursed them, thereby masking that he was the source of the funds. The attorney agreed to serve six months in federal prison for the "conduit contribution" charges, in addition to a $20,000 fine and 200 hours of community service.

The case stems from contributions made to John Edwards’ 2004 presidential bid.. "We are pleased with today’s resolution," said Brian J. O’Neill, O’Donnell’s lawyer, noting that the final decision is still in the judge’s discretion. "From the outset of this case, we have been seeking to get the charges reduced to misdemeanors."

U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte said in a statement that O’Donnell, a business litigator who has run for the House of Representatives in the past, should have been "well aware" of federal election laws but "chose to circumvent the laws designed to maintain transparency and shed light on the campaign process."

So he has even run as a Democrat.

O’Donnell, 64, who was a lead plaintiff’s attorney for flood victims of Hurricane Katrina suing the U.S. government, previously pleaded no contest in 2006 to misdemeanor state court charges of using a false name in making political contributions in the 2001 mayoral campaign of James K. Hahn. O’Donnell was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $155,000 in fines and penalties in that case…

So he was a repeat offender! But that’s okay. He is a Democrat and he has represented the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He has a good heart!

And note this bit of weirdness, via the August 2011 archives of the Politico:

John Edwards donor to plead guilty to illegal donations

Josh Gerstein | August 04, 2011

… O’Donnell’s case drew national attention in 2009 when Judge James Otero issued a surprising ruling that reimbursing a campaign contribution to a federal candidate did not violate federal law. Last year, a federal appeals court overruled Otero and reinstated the charges. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case.

When the case was filed back in 2008, O’Donnell was indicted on three felony charges. The judge struck two of those charges in his ruling and later dismissed one at the request of prosecutors. With only misdemeanors on his record, O’Donnell could regain his law license, which was suspended after the charges were filed. His trial was set to open August 30….

How handy. The charges were reduced so he could keep his law license. Even though he is a repeat offender.

Apparently it pays to be a big Hollywood attorney, and well connected to the Democrat Party.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, January 24th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Edwards Donor – 6 Months For Illegal Donations”

  1. “If you’re a criminal and you know it raise your hand
    (clap, clap)
    If you’re a criminal and you know it raise your hand
    (clap, clap)
    If you’re a criminal and you know it
    And you really wanna show it
    If you’re a criminal and you know raise your hand”

    “John, that’s both hands, can’t you even follow directions?”




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