The obvious answer in this witch hunt is “no, he did not break the law”, according to legal scholars all over the place, even Republicans. Even if he “KNEW”, the payments are still personal gifts because they likely would have been paid even if he wasn’t running for President.
Instead of bringing contrived charges against Edwards and making up violations as they go along, maybe the Obama administration should stop fighting with all they have here an abroad to keep Bush & Cheney out of court for the many violations of domestic & international law that they committed (for example), and do something to stop money from deciding US elections. But then again, this “Democratic” administration has doubled down and beefed up many of those Bush programs, so that’s not going to happen.
Bush, Rove, and Alberto Gonzales fired US attorneys if they wouldn’t target Democrats (e.g., David Iglesias). Even this “protector-of-Bush/Cheney” administration has called Bush’s behavior “inappropriate”, but not criminal. George Holding wasn’t fired, for obvious reason. What he was, was a law clerk for Terrence Boyle, a racist right-wing judge that Edwards placed a hold on, who never got appointed to the US Court of Appeals because of it, also limiting Holding’s prospects at the time. Personal vendetta, anyone?
Being a “scumbag” is not against the law, and whether or not someone “deserves what [they] get” only matters if we live in a country of men instead of laws, which we obviously do. Wouldn’t be surprised either way.
Great article from TheNation breaking down the specifics of the “laws” that Edwards “allegedly” broke: http://www.thenation.com/blog/161158/did-john-edwards-break-law