The Justice Department announced yesterday a federal indictment in Detroit of two Michigan lawyers for conspiring to contribute more than $125,000 to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Edwards through dozens of "straw donors". The 10-count indictment alleges that Geoffrey Fieger and Ven Johnson reimbursed people for contributions through their law firm. Also that they made false statements and obstructed a grand jury investigation.
"The indictment states that Senator Edwards’ campaign was unaware of Fieger and Johnson’s actions", according to the DOJ press release.
Mr. Fieger’s online biography highlights his representation of Jack Kervorkian in connection with criminal charges for helping people commit suicide. It also notes that, in 1998, he ran for Governor of Michigan as the Democratic Party nominee. He lost in the general election.
Mr. Fieger contends that politics motivated the charges, which he denies. In a statement (see story), he said:
The timing of these unprecedented charges, that have no support in fact or law, during the height of the presidential fundraising campaign, is solely intended to intimidate Democratic supporters around the country.
Mr. Fieger hired Gerry Spence to defend him.