Deliberations to Begin in Edwards Trial
Posted on May 17, 2012
Jurors in the corruption trial of former U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Edwards are expected to begin deliberations on Friday. Edwards is accused of using nearly $1 million in campaign donations to cover up an affair with ex-mistress Rielle Hunter. Attorneys on both sides presented their closing arguments on Thursday.
Prosecutors claim Edwards “cooked up” the scheme to keep his presidential ambitions afloat. “Campaign finance laws are designed to bring the two Americas together at election time,” said prosecutor Bobby Higdon. “John Edwards forgot his own rhetoric. He had no problem dividing the two Americas when it served his own purpose.”
The defense argued that while Edwards may have been a “bad husband,” he did not violate any federal campaign laws.
Neither Edwards nor Hunter testified at the trial. —TEB
“John was a bad husband,” Edwards’ lawyer Abbe Lowell said. “But there is not the remotest chance that John did or intended to violate the law.”
“If what John did was a crime,” Lowell added. “We’d better build a lot more court rooms, hire a lot more prosecutors and build a lot more jails.”
Edwards faces six criminal counts—including conspiracy, four counts of receiving illegal campaign contributions and one count of making false statements—for allegedly soliciting and secretly spending over $925,000 to cover up his affair with Hunter during the 2008 presidential election. If convicted on all six counts, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
John Edwards campaigning to become the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008.