Former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is on trial for campaign finance violations
Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Another former John Edwards aide took the stand Thursday, recounting to the court how his old boss's mistress had plenty of campaign staffers raising their eyebrows back on the 2007 campaign trail.
The Associated Press reports that John Davis told of separate awkward encounters with Rielle Hunter and Edwards. During the first, Hunter approached him in a hotel to tell him that she and Edwards "were madly in love." Davis said he never told Edwards about it, but that the politician nonetheless went out of his way two days later to deny the affair. According to Davis, Edwards warned him that Hunter was "crazy" and that she was "going to go to Inside Edition or Access Hollywood to talk about her work with him."
Davis testified that Edwards' preemptive denial left him unconvinced, especially since Edwards would ask to borrow his phone for long periods of time and that on one occasion he overheard Edwards talking to Hunter on it when he went to Edwards' room to retrieve his phone.
The former campaign staffer also recalled how most of his colleagues opted for formality when addressing the candidate, calling him "Senator Edwards," while Hunter went with more personal monikers like "John" or "Johnny."
You can read more about Davis' testimony over at ABC News.
Tuesday, May 1: John Edwards' defense team on Tuesday did its best to undermine the credibility of a former campaign aide and his wife who are key witnesses in the government's case against the disgraced politician, accusing the pair of having faulty memories and being financially motivated.
The Associated Press reports that Andrew Young's wife, Cheri, spent the afternoon being cross-examined by Edwards' lawyers, the third time she has taken the stand during the trial. She faced questions about her chronic migraines and her husband's drinking, as well as about their motivation for accusing Edwards of being behind a scheme that allegedly funneled campaign cash to his mistress.
"I came here because I had to come here," said Young, who testified because of a subpoena, adding that the "only reason" her husband wrote his tell-all book about the scandal was "because Mr. Edwards did not come forward and tell the truth."
Young attempted to downplay the potentially-motivating factor of the money she and her husband have made off the scandal, a total that the AP explains includes hundreds of thousands of dollars from the book and movie deals, as well as the $1 million the couple pocketed from wealthy campaign backers helping to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress.
Asked about whether she and her husband expected "significant income" if the book is ultimately made into a movie, Young conceded only the second part: "Income, income is a good thing," she said, according to the Charlotte Observer.
You can read more about Tuesday's court action here.
Monday, April 30: The first week of John Edwards' campaign finance trial wasn't lacking for drama, and it looks like we can expect much of the same for Week 2.
The Associated Press reports that the presiding judge was forced to halt proceedings and temporarily send jurors out of the North Carolina courtroom on Monday after the wife of Edwards' former aide couldn't control her weeping on the witness stand.
After composing herself, Cheri Young, a 38-year-old part-time pediatric nurse, explained to the court how Edwards allegedly convinced her and her husband Andrew (who is now the government's chief witness) to go along with a scheme in which she helped funnel money to Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter to keep the affair hidden and to help her own husband keep his job.
"Nobody cares about two staffers having an affair," Young recalled Edwards saying when he originally proposed that her husband claim paternity for Hunter's child. She added that the former White House hopeful described the cover-up as something that was "for the good of the country."
Young also told the court that she had doubts about the legality of the elaborate check-writing scheme in which money from elderly banking heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon was allegedly routed to Hunter through a series of steps, the last of which involved Young depositing a check under her maiden name before passing the money on to Edwards' mistress.
Young testified that Edwards had told her he had checked with his campaign lawyers and that the financing was legal. As ABC News notes, it was the second time a witness testified during the trial that Edwards made such a claim.
If Edwards is convicted on the campaign finance violations, he faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.