John Edwards went to trial Monday to take the defense against allegations that the former Democratic senator and presidential candidate diverted nearly $1 million in campaign funds to cover up an affair.
John Edwards is accused of using the campaign funds to conceal the fact that the woman he was having an affair with, Rielle Hunter, was pregnant with his daughter.
The story first broke in 2007 that John Edwards was reportedly having an affair, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he admitted to the affair and 2010 that he admitted Rielle Hunter’s daughter was his own.
Now that the trial is underway, more twists are likely to come about in the seemingly bottomless pit of cover-ups and misinformation. Already it has been determined that a key witness in the criminal case against John Edwards improperly contacted other witnesses to ask how they were going to testify.
That witness was Andrew Young, the former aid to John Edwards, who initially claimed to have fathered the child that turned out to be the daughter of John Edwards.
District Court Judge Catherine Eagles ruled that defense attorneys for John Edwards could mention the improper contact to jurors, but could not use the term “witness tampering” and could not mention the one-night stand Andrew Young had with one of the witnesses.
Andrew Young was the first witness to testify in the John Edwards trial Monday. John Edwards and his defense team will need to destroy Andrew Young’s credibility if they expect to win the trial.
John Edwards faces six criminal counts of campaign finance violations for allegedly accepting, and failing to report, campaign donations in excess of the $2,300 limit for individual contributions. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
John Edwards and his team allege that the diverted funds were actually tapped by Andrew Young and his wife to pay for a $1.5 million house they finished in 2008.