The John Edwards trial accuses the former presidential candidate of using $1 million in donations from political supporters to hide his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child together during his 2008 campaign. He is also accused of creating false documents.
The defense attorneys at the John Edwards trial claimed that one of his campaign aides, Andrew Young, paid for medical expenses related to Hunter’s pregnancy to hide the affair from Edwards’s wife as well as for his own gain. Young claimed that he was the father of Hunter’s baby, and that Mellon was the one paying for Hunter’s medical expenses.
Prosecutors argued that John Edwards influenced Young into allowing him and his affair overall to stay in hiding. But Young testified that he took Edwards in after he noticed a light bulb in the press related to John Edwards’s affair.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon told jurors that the affair occurred right as John Edwards was preparing for the 2008 campaign. Higdon claims Edwards knew his political ambitions depended on keeping his affair with Hunter under wraps.
Higdon added that Edwards knew the rules and should have considered them in taking substantial donations from Rachel Mellon and Fred Baron. According to CNN, the John Edwards trial involved $725,000 from Mellon, and $200,000 from Baron. Essentially, all the donations went to keeping Edwards’s mistress hidden.
Defense attorneys of the John Edwards trial denied this presumed purpose of the contributions, claiming that they were not campaign donations.
According to Young’s testimonial in the John Edwards trial, Baron offered to reimburse him with Hunter’s expenses. Mellon was simultaneously reimbursing Young without knowing that Baron was doing the same. This raised questions about Young’s integrity in the courtroom.
Defense lawyer, Abbe Lowell, turned her focus toward Young’s claims during the John Edwards trial and advised everyone in the courtroom to do the same.
“There is nothing he won't lie about, nothing,” Lowell said.
Young has allegedly kept the money that remained after paying Hunter’s expenses.
But, David Harbach of the U.S. Justice Department argued that Lowell was just trying to distract from the case at hand.
After the 40-day John Edwards trial, it is decided that if found guilty, John Edwards must serve up to 30 years in prison and should be fined $1.5 million.