Who in the John Edwards Campaign Ran the Rielle Hunter Cover Up?
Who Began the Cover Up with an Attempt to Scrub the Web Clean of Rielle Hunter References?
Operation included Jets, Multi-Million Dollar Houses, Gated Communities and Hush Money
Another Mystery for the Late-charging Media
Who in the John Edwards’ campaign started the cover up of Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter? It was an operation that costs millions and involved a web of schemes that are still unraveling. It’s a question the media hasn’t heavily explored, but it has to be on the agenda, now that they’re onto the story.
The cover up began with the erasing of information about Hunter from the Internet; progressed later to moving Hunter from the NYC area to North Carolina within five miles of the Edwards campaign headquarters and setting her up in houses owned by Edwards’ backers; and, at one point involved millionaire trial lawyer, Fred Baron, and the revelations that millions were spent jetting Hunter and Edwards’ campaign operative–and fall guy–across the country to reside in multi-million dollar houses.
Hunter and Young, according to reports, have also been receiving hush money payments to keep their mouths shut.
Who initiated all of this? Where did that money come from?
[More background and Edwards scandal information: Over 80 stories since December on the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter Scandal and Cover up at DBKP in the John Edwards Love Child Library.]
John Edwards said he was unaware of any attempts to hide his affair with Hunter.
So did friend and big backer, Fred Baron, according to his statement: Baron was just helping out old friend friends and John Edwards didn’t know about it. In light of the flood of information now coming out, Edwards’ claims haven’t held up very well. It’s likely that Baron’s statements will also have a hard time standing up under the increased scrutiny.
Hunter and Young aren’t talking–yet.
Prediction: Andrew Young will be the first to crack. As a one-time Edwards campaign Director of Finance, he’s on the hook for many of the improprieties–and he’s likely, at some point, to be reminded of this unpleasant fact. In fact, the Equirer reported in December that Young vehemently denied that campaign money was being used for Hunter expenses. Doug Ross pointed out at the time, “What an odd denial! Who accused Young of funneling campaign funds to support Rielle in the first place? I wonder if any member of our crack mainstream media will bother to check into this interesting thread?”
Ross asked that question on December 27. It remained rhetorical in nature until eight months later.
DBKP’s crack research department turned in a memo which made us drop all other items and get cracking on this story.
…went back and read Sam Stein’s piece in the HuffPo about the missing campaign videos from Sep 27th of last year. Nobody in the MSM seems to be questioning the timeline on this aspect of the coverup. Stein published his piece reporting that the videos had been pulled two weeks before the Enquirer broke the affair story, and was getting the runaround from Jonathan Prince at the Edwards campaign with some bullshit about campaign finance law. Plus other people from the Edwards campaign were telling the worker bees at Midline Groove Productions to shut the hell up about the Hunter videos, according to Stein.
I guess one possible explanation is that the Enquirer was maybe already asking the campaign questions about Hunter before Stein published his story on 27 Sept, which got them antsy about the whole thing.
Which started a search through DBKP’s John Edwards archives. We’ve been reporting since December on the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair and the twin real scandals: the Edwards’ campaign cover up and the Mainstream Media blackout, which included a failure to investigate hard facts unearthed by the National Enquirer.
We’ll deal with the media scandal another day.
References to Make Any Campaign Nervous
The scrubbing clean of all references to Rielle Hunter obviously began before Stein’s piece, which came out at Huffington Post on September 26, 2007. Her “webisode” videos disappeared before the Stein story appeared. Stein relates some of the difficulties he’d encountered tracking down these videos from the people involved in making them.
Who else was involved? Credits from the webisode still on the Business Week site listed three additional production assistants. One of them, Sam Cullman, said he could not talk to me but lauded Edwards for his openness. Another assistant, Nick Chatfield, said on the first call to my editor that he wished the movies were available because he could use the publicity. On the second call (having evidently checked back with Hunter or the Edwards campaign), Chatfield said, “Don’t call me again.”
Remember Nick Chatfield: his name will come up later.
Stein also wrote about the stonewall he’d run into with the Edwards campaign.
Jonathan Prince offered to let me and my editor, Tom Edsall, watch the videos – apparently unaware that at one point his campaign claimed not to have access to them. But there was a proviso: we could only view the videos in Prince’s presence.
When did the Rielle Hunter web cover up begin? The Edwards’ campaign had to be as nervous as Don King in a barber shop when they saw the New York Post’s now-famous blind item on August 27, 2007: [Last reported in John Edwards Scandal: Sister Asks Edwards to Stop Bad-mouthing Rielle Hunter – UPDATED“]
“WHICH political candidate enjoys visiting New York because he has a girlfriend who lives downtown? The pol tells her he’ll marry her when his current wife is out of the picture.”
DBKP speculated months ago–correctly, it turns out–that the Post could have only been referring to John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. The Post confirmed this on August 9, 2008 in EDWARDS BLIND NO MORE.
WE hate to say we told you so, and we normally never reveal the identities in our blind items, but in light of John Edwards’ finally admitting he had an extramarital affair, we bring your attention to our “Just asking” item of Aug. 27, 2007…
Our best guess is that the Edwards campaign then got busy and was just one step ahead of Sam Stein. The webisodes disappeared, as did other Hunter info at the NY Screen Actors Guild.
But, in July, the Enquirer Editor-in-Chief, David Perel, referred to the Enquirer’s “one-year” investigation [John Edwards Affair: Interview with David Perel, Editor-in-Chief of the National Enquirer, among others]. So, the Edwards camp most likely knew that questions were being asked about Hunter and her involvement with the campaign, before the Post piece appeared on August 27, 2007.
The Helpful Hand of the Disgruntled Employee
Who was thwarting efforts to erase the videos on-line?
The DBKP Research Dept. weighs in again:
Continue reading: John Edwards Scandal: Who in the Edwards’ Campaign Ran the Cover Up?
Source: John Edwards Scandal: Who in the Edwards’ Campaign Ran the Cover Up?