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Entries in John Edwards (74)

Thursday
May102012

John Edwards Prosecution to Hit Finale Without Rielle Hunter

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The finale in the prosecution of John Edwards on Thursday may feature Leo Hindery, a political backer who witnessed Edwards' desperate attempt to salvage a top level job from Barack Obama even after Edwards' mistress gave birth to his love child.

Hindery is expected to be one of the last witnesses for the prosecution before it rests its case on Thursday.

Conspicuous by her absence will be Rielle Hunter, Edwards' lover who had his baby while Edwards was seeking the 2008 presidential nomination.

Hindery is expected to tell the jurors that even after Hunter gave birth to daughter Frances Quinn and Edwards dropped out of the presidential sweepstakes, Edwards was still trying to make political deals with Obama to be vice president or attorney general.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly using nearly $1 million in donations to hide his pregnant mistress.  Hindery's testimony could bolster the allegation that his efforts to keep the affair secret was tied to his political ambition.

The one-time presidential candidate could be sentenced for up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Edwards' defense, however, claims the money was spent to hide Hunter from his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

Prosecution Will Not Call On Rielle Hunter in John Edwards Trial

Sketch by Christine Cornell(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Rielle Hunter will not testify as a witness for the prosecution during the John Edwards trial.  Though much of the trial hinges on Edwards' relationship with his mistress Rielle Hunter, the prosecution said it would rest its case Thursday without calling Hunter as a witness.

Hunter had been on the list of potential witnesses the prosecution might call. Though the government will pass on putting Hunter on the stand, Edwards' defense team may still do so.

"There is one person who seems to be at the center of all of this, these spinning planets, and that's Rielle Hunter," Steve Friedland, professor of law at Elon University, told ABC News.

Still, on one of the last days of the prosecution's case, the poignant testimony of Jennifer Palmieri, a longtime friend of Elizabeth Edwards who worked as a spokeswoman for John Edwards' presidential campaign, recounted Elizabeth's last days before she passed away in December 2010.  She testified Wednesday that up until John Edwards officially claimed paternity of his mistress's daughter, his dying wife Elizabeth clung to his lies that he was not the father and on her deathbed lamented that she would die alone because of his indiscretions.

"She was not able to speak at this stage," Palmieri, who now works for the Obama White House, said through tears.

"But before [she died, Elizabeth] expressed concerns because she didn't want to be alone," Palmieri told a rapt courtroom. "When she and John separated...she was concerned there would not be a man around to love her and I said: 'I would be there.'"

Edwards' daughter Cate, 30, who has been at her father's side almost every day of the trial, left the courtroom before Palmieri's emotional testimony about her mother's dying days. Cate also left the courtroom last week just before testimony about her distraught mother confronting Edwards about the affair on an airport tarmac, collapsing on the ground and tearing off her blouse.

As Palmieri testified, Edwards, on trial for allegedly using campaign funds to cover up his mistress Rielle Hunter and love child, rubbed his eyes and pressed his forehead against his hand. Edwards claims the money was used to hide the girlfriend from his wife, not the government.

If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May092012

John Edwards Prosecutors Face Decision Time on Whether to Call Mistress

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The prosecution of John Edwards is near the end of its case, raising questions by observers as to whether they have succeeded in tying Edwards' mistress cover up to campaign funds, and whether his mistress, Rielle Hunter, will be called by the prosecution.

The court expects to find out by the end of Wednesday whether prosecutors will call Hunter to the stand.  The prosecution has said it intends to wrap up its case by Thursday.

Before Hunter is called, the jurors can expect to hear from Jennifer Palmieri, a former Edwards aide who was a close confidante of Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, who has since died of cancer.

Palmieri was present when Elizabeth Edwards confronted her husband's wealthy backer Fred Baron and Baron's wife in 2007 over their support and friendship with Hunter.  According to pretrial motions, John Edwards was present at that meeting.

The bigger issue, however, is whether Hunter will be called by prosecutors.

"There is one person who seems to be at the center of all of this, these spinning planets, and that's Rielle Hunter," Steve Friedland, professor of law at Elon University, told ABC News.

But there is a risk in calling Hunter.

"She can tie it together for them.  Of course, what's come out, she may be unreliable and who knows what she might say on the witness stand," Friedland said.

And there are risks of not calling her.

"If they don't call her, she will probably be called by the defense.  So, in all likelihood, they will have to call her given that she is the glue here.  The jury may figure, why are they not calling her?" Friedland said.

What the prosecution would want Hunter to confirm is that the cover up "was about the campaign and not just a private matter," Friedland said.

"She's the witness who can provide first hand knowledge.  She's dangerous for the prosecution, but sometimes you don't get to choose your own witnesses.  You have to call who's available," he said.

Kieran Shanahan, a former prosecutor who has been in court every day of the trial, believes the prosecution's hand will be forced.

"I still believe, as a practical matter, the government will call Miss Hunter, and if they don't, then certainly the defense will," Shanahan told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

Witness: John Edwards Confessed to Mistress Money Cover-Up

Sketch by Christine Cornell(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Just before John Edwards went public about fathering his mistress' daughter, he confessed to his speechwriter that he was aware that a wealthy donor had supported the woman and his baby girl.

Wendy Button testified Tuesday in his trial that Edwards dropped his denials about Rielle Hunter being his mistress, fathering her baby and being unaware of money being spent to take care of Hunter and to keep his secret while running for president.

Button testified Tuesday that while preparing his speech Edwards told her that "he had known all along that Fred Baron had been taking care of things."

Baron, a wealthy Texas trial lawyer who served for a time as Edwards' campaign treasurer, had donated thousands to Edwards' campaign as well as a couple hundred thousand dollars to help protect his secret.

In an original draft of the speech Edwards gave coming clean about the paternity of his daughter Frances Quinn, Edwards thanked Baron for his financial support, Button told the court.

"While I never asked my friend Fred Baron for a dime, I stood by while he supported my daughter. And I will reimburse his wife," Edwards had initially intended to say in his apology speech, Button testified.

But that line was later dropped and replaced, she said. Edwards said for "legal and practical purposes" that line need to be changed to read, "Some people without my knowledge supported Quinn," Button said.

The speechwriter testified that she was "deeply" concerned about changing the language of the apology to be less specific. She said she knew the phrase "without my knowledge" in reference to the donors who paid to hide his mistress and daughter "wasn't true."

Button asked Edwards if he should also apologize to Andrew Young, the aide who lied on Edwards' behalf and falsely claimed he had fathered Quinn to protect his boss' political career.

But Edwards said Young should not be recognized in the statement because he was "a bad guy."

The hush money came from Baron and wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon.

Edwards is accused of illegally using nearly $1 million in campaign donations to hide his mistress. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Edwards' defense is that the money was never intended for political purposes, but only to keep his mistress a secret from his wife. He claims he did not know about much of the money Young had sought from wealthy donors and that Young was out to keep much of it for himself.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

John Edwards' Aide Joked About Selling Sex Tape

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- A former confidante of John Edwards testified Tuesday that he and Edwards' longtime aide Andrew Young had come to dislike Edwards so much that they laughed about the money to be made from selling a sex tape the presidential candidate had made with his mistress.

Tim Toben, a North Carolina businessman and one-time Edwards' supporter, admitted on the stand during Edward's corruption trial that he and Young joked about the consequences of releasing the sex tape, and disparaged Edwards, a man both men once admired but came to resent.

Toben said Young had told him about a "personal and private video tape" depicting Edwards and mistress Rielle Hunter having sex, while the two men watched a football game together.

"I wonder what that tape is worth today," Toben asked Young in an email soon after a National Enquirer ran a story about Edwards' love child.

Toben said they joked about how much money they could sell the tape for, adding "the numbers were pretty big numbers."

Toben, who was once so close to Edwards he was asked to sneak a pregnant Hunter out of North Carolina in the dead of night, said after Edwards quit the race he went to the Obama campaign to warn them of offering Edwards a job in the administration.

He recalled dining with Edwards at a swank restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C., in which Edwards bragged about his prospects in a potential Obama administration, despite the National Enquirer story about his mistress and baby.

"That was so astonishing to me," Toben said. "The clear message I got was if he was offered a slot he would take it."

Toben arranged a meeting with an Obama campaign official and told an Obama operative that the campaign should take seriously the stories reported in National Enquirer about Edwards' then unconfirmed mistress and baby if considering the senator for the posts of vice president or attorney general.

"Usually, they get it wrong. In this case I don't think they did," Toben said of the tabloid's reporting.

Tobens said he was let down by Edwards' behavior.

"I thought he betrayed the trust of the people he spoke for," Tobens said.

Edwards is accused of illegal using nearly $1 million in campaign donations to hide his mistress. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Edwards' defense is that the money was never intended for political purposes, but only to keep his mistress a secret from his wife. He claims he did not know about much of the money Young had sought from wealthy donors and that Young was out to keep much of it for himself.

Edwards' lawyers sought to depict Toben and Young as embittered men, angry at Edwards and out to make money off their knowledge of his affair.

In a series of emails between Young and Toben, the men routinely disparage Edwards and his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer.

In his emails to Young who was writing a tell-all memoir at the time, Toben calls Edwards a "pathetic little man" and "a sick evil bastard."

"I can't wait for you to OUT him," Toben wrote to Young. "He's an ass and always will be."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

John Edwards Trial: Will Mistress Rielle Hunter Testify?

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Prosecutors in North Carolina are looking to wrap up their case against John Edwards by the end of the week, but it remains unclear whether they will take the potentially risky move of calling the former presidential hopeful's mistress Rielle Hunter to testify.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly using campaign donations to hide his affair with Hunter and her subsequent pregnancy.  He could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Throughout the trial, which is now in its third week, Hunter has been called "crazy" and a "loose cannon" who relied on a "spiritual adviser" for everything from the right dressing for a Reuben sandwich to the best place to have the baby Edwards secretly fathered.

"It is dangerous to call her at the end, because if she flops for the government, it's not the note that you want to end on," former prosecutor Kieran Shanahan told ABC News.  "At the same time, I just think the story is incomplete without her and she will acknowledge that she did receive the money."

On Monday, Tim Toben, a friend of Edwards' former top aide Andrew Young, testified that in the fall of 2007 he was given a secret mission to drive Hunter along with Young and his wife to the airport in the middle of the night so they could leave North Carolina and go into hiding.

"It was peculiar because [Hunter] had black sunglasses on, even though it was dark," Toben told the court, adding that "she was clearly pregnant."

Toben also testified that when the Youngs and Hunter were living in California he was also asked to go to Hunter's rental home in North Carolina and retrieve some personal items, including "a photograph of Mr. Edwards and Miss Hunter."  On the photo, "I love you, John,'" was written, Toben testified.

In the summer of 2009, Hunter testified before a grand jury under an immunity agreement, and raised some eyebrows when she brought her daughter Quinn along.  At that time, Edwards had yet to admit he was the child's father.

In Hunter's only public statements since the affair was exposed she has seemed to support the defense theory that Edwards was hiding his affair with her from his wife, rather than hiding it from voters.  When asked by Oprah Winfrey whether she thinks Edwards was more afraid of the public finding out about their relationship or of his wife Elizabeth -- who died of cancer in 2010 -- discovering the affair, Hunter replied, "Elizabeth."

In an interview that accompanied a risqué photo spread with GQ magazine in 2010, Hunter claimed to be in the dark about the $725,000 funneled from wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon to Young, who has become the government's key witness.

"I never had any idea," Hunter told the magazine.  "He told me he received two [small] checks from her ... and that he never deposited them."

The prosecution is trying to prove that Edwards willfully, personally and routinely asked Mellon for money, and that he knew about the $725,000 Mellon funnelled to him through Young over the course of his campaign to win the presidency between 2006 and 2008.

Edwards' defense hinges on his argument that he never personally asked Mellon for any money, that Young acted on his own to solicit money, and he was hiding Hunter from his wife, not from the voters or the government. 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

John Edwards Told Pal $50M Would Be 'Chip Shot' for Elderly Heiress

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards intended to create a $50 million foundation for himself after losing his 2008 bid for the presidency and told a friend it would be a "chip shot" for elderly heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon to fund it for him.

"[Edwards] said he had a friend, Ms. Mellon, who was very wealthy," testified Tim Toben, Edward's onetime friend and supporter who helped keep secret Edwards' pregnant mistress out of North Carolina.

It would be a "chip shot for her to endow the foundation" with $50 million, Toben said Edwards told him in June 2008 at a swank Chapel Hill, N.C., restaurant.

Toben said Edwards' boast that evening made him uncomfortable. He knew the truth about Edwards' and his mistress. He said he even rummaged through her home, removing signed autographs reading "I love you, John," which the senator had given her.

But the "chip shot" conversation would resonate with Toben a year later when he ran into Edwards on the street.

By then the world knew Edwards had cheated on his wife, and a top aide, Andrew Young, was getting ready to publish a book about the affair. Toben was also friends with Young.

"You need to choose between your friendship with Andrew and your friendship with me," Edwards said, Toben told the court.

"Andrew had crossed a line. He was not somebody to be trusted," Edwards said of Young, according to Toben's testimony.

"And then he said something frustrating to me: That Andrew had tried to bilk Ms. Mellon out of $50 million...I don't think he remembered a year earlier he told me it would be a 'chip shot' for her to fund the foundation. And it was the exact same number," Toben said.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly using campaign donations to hide his mistress and her subsequent pregnancy. Much of that money came from Mellon. Edwards could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Edwards' defense hinges on his argument that he never personally asked Mellon for any money and that Young acted on his own to solicit money.

Toben had a unique insider's view of Edwards's relationship with Hunter, joining them at a Dave Matthews concert and driving a pregnant Hunter to an airplane hanger at 4 a.m. to get her out of North Carolina and away from an increasingly suspicious press.

Earlier Monday, an assistant for Mellon told the court that just before his indictment last year Edwards asked the 101-year-old heiress for $3 million. That was in addition to $725,000 she had already given to Edwards for his hush fund and several million to Edwards' presidential campaign, super PAC and a non-profit organization.

Tony Willis serves as Mellon's personal librarian and custodian of her correspondence. Mellon asked Willis to send a letter she dictated responding to a plea by Edwards asking "her for some additional money to get him established," he said.

"I understood her to say he asked for $3 million," Willis said, but Mellon denied the request, saying "she couldn't provide the money."

Willis' testimony about the letter was made after a defense objection and the jury was excused. Lawyers from both sides made impassioned pleas about whether or not the letter should be admitted into the record.

The prosecution is trying to prove that Edwards willfully, personally and routinely asked Mellon for money, bolstering its claim that Edwards knew about the $725,000 Mellon gave him over the course his campaign to win the presidency between 2006 and 2008. The letter is proof Edwards "alone went to Mrs. Mellon and [tried] to get $3 million more," argued prosecutor Robert Higdon.

The defense has argued that Edwards never asked Mellon for money directly, and any money requested by his aide Andrew Young was done in an attempt by Young to steal money from the wealthy heiress himself.

Edwards' lawyers said the letter came years after the presidential campaign and the existence of his relationship with Rielle Hunter and their baby was acknowledged, and after Mellon had been questioned by the FBI. Defense lawyers argued the letter should not be admitted as evidence.

The judge upheld the objection and the jury was brought back after discussions of the letter had ended.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May042012

John Edwards' Main Source of Hush Money Was 101-Year-Old Woman

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The key person funding John Edwards' campaign and possibly a cover up involving his mistress was a 101-year-old philanthropist who had swooned over the Democratic presidential contender in 2007.

Rachel "Bunny" Mellon was so taken with Edwards after meeting him at her Virginia estate in 2005 that she lent her personal plane to take him home to North Carolina, her confidante Bryan Huffman told the jury at Edwards' trial.

"Bunny was euphoric with the visit," Huffman told the court.

As the plane taxied down her private runway with Edwards' face visible in the window, Huffman said she told him, "There goes the next president of the United States."

What she might have said is there goes $725,000 of her money.

Huffman brought some color to a trial that has been marked by tears, grim faces, angry accusations, and tense testimony.

Huffman, dressed in yellow checked blazer with matching yellow tie and pocket square, cheerfully regaled the jury with stories about the financial scheme in his deep southern drawl.

Mellon was so enamored of Edwards that she made sure that her personal lawyer was unaware of her under the table donations, which formed the bulk of the hush fund meant to keep the presence of his mistress Rielle Hunter a secret. Mellon was also unaware of how the money was spent, Huffman said.

In addition to the $725,000 meant for Edwards personal needs, Mellon donated another $6 million to his political action committee and non-profit organization.

Edwards is charged with violating campaign finance laws by using nearly $1 million from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant girlfriend. He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Huffman will be back on the stand today and he will be followed by Mellon's personal lawyer Alex Forger.

The checks, which became known as "Bunny money" to those involved in the cover up, were disguised as payments for furniture.

"It gave her something to look forward to," Huffman told the court. "The campaign gave her a wonderful focus and something to really hold onto."

When asked if Mellon was aware there was a $4,600 legal limit on campaign donations, Huffman replied, "She thought it was a little low."

At the time of the donations Edwards was fighting for the Democratic nomination against Barack Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, who Mellon referred to as "the old rag" or "ol' raggy."

The checks would arrive sporadically with notes attached to hide their purpose, Hufffman said

The notes pretended the money was for dining room chairs, a book case, or an "antique Charleston table."

"One note said she was paying me back for money I had bet on a horse. She was having fun with this," Huffman testified. "It was called the furniture business."

When Edwards' presidential campaign ended, Huffman says Edwards and Mellon began talking about a foundation that would fight poverty. Huffman said Young then asked Mellon for $40 million to $50 million to fund the foundation. Young has testified that he made the request at Edwards' behest.

"Bunny Mellon was a little upset that she was going to be out on the street corner and they were going to have her farm for the foundation," Huffman said.

In an August meeting in Mellon's home, Forger talked to Edwards about the money and Edwards said he didn't know anything about the money or the foundation, Huffman told the court.

Other former Edwards aides have previously testified that Edwards was aware of the money and the plans for a foundation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

John Edwards Mistress Wanted to Say She Was 'Abducted By Aliens'

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- When the National Enquirer broke a story that presidential candidate John Edwards was having an affair, Edwards' campaign was worried by mistress Rielle Hunter's initial reluctance to issue a denial. Instead, she wanted to put out a flip statement that she was "abducted by aliens."

The Enquirer's story triggered an emotional meltdown by Edwards' wife Elizabeth, who was coping with terminal cancer at the time of the revelation in October 2007.

She confronted her husband in an airport parking lot, collapsing into a heap, then tearing off her shirt and bra.

That testimony sent daughter Cate Edwards out of the courtroom in tears and riveted those who remained Wednesday.

But the subtler part of the testimony was apparently to show that Edwards' campaign was involved in the affair.

Edwards is charged with violating campaign finance laws by using more than $1 million from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant girlfriend. He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Part of Edwards' defense is that he used the money to hide the affair from his wife, which may be a sin, but not a crime.

Christina Reynolds, former research director for Edwards campaign, told the court Wednesday that after the Enquirer story came out the campaign had a conversation with Hunter about issuing a denial.

Hunter's response, Reynolds said, was that she wanted to release a flip comment that she had been "abducted by aliens."

"My concern was that if (she) was hedging on issuing a straight denial, we wouldn't know what she would do," Reynolds testified.

The prosecutor asked what would have happened if the story had grown, and Reynolds replied, "I don't think it would have been good. I think it would have been very bad for the campaign."

Hunter eventually issued a denial without mentioning aliens.

Previous witnesses, John and Cheri Young, have testified that they were assigned to keep Hunter hidden while Edwards pursued the Democratic presidential nomination. The cover-up continued after he dropped out, they claim, because he was angling for a top job like vice president or attorney general.

Campaign scheduler Matthew Nelson recounted on Wednesday first meeting Hunter in late June 2006 when he was instructed to pick her up and bring her to Edwards' house. Nelson, Hunter and Edwards then flew together to Raleigh-Durham under the pretense that Edwards was interviewing Hunter for a job.

While in the house, Edwards feigned ignorance of who Hunter was, asking Nelson in a "whispered tone... who the woman is in the neighboring room."

They later attended a Dave Matthews Band concert and flew to Washington, D.C. together, Nelson testified.

Nelson also told the court of being asked to set up a meeting with wealthy philanthropist Rachel "Bunny" Mellon who gave $725,000 to Edwards' hush fund.

Another Edwards' campaign aide Josh Brumberger also testified about attending a meeting with Edwards at Mellon's home as they courted her for funding.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May022012

John Edwards' Wife Tore Off Her Shirt and Collapsed Over His Affair

AmericanPress.org(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards put his head in his hands and his daughter Cate left the courtroom in tears Wednesday as a former aide testified about how Edwards' wife became distraught when she found out that he was still having an affair with mistress Rielle Hunter.

Elizabeth Edwards "collapsed in a ball" in an airport parking lot and tore off her shirt in a fit of anger, the witness said.

Mrs. Edwards was dying of cancer and had previously discovered her husband's fling with Hunter, a videographer on his presidential campaign, in 2006. She had demanded Hunter be fired and the romance be ended.

Edwards, however, secretly continued the affair, which was reported in the National Enquirer in October 2007.

Christina Reynolds, a communications adviser on Edwards' campaign who was also close to Elizabeth Edwards, told the court about Mrs. Edwards' reaction when her suspicions of her husband's continued infidelity were confirmed.

Before Reynolds began, Edwards said to his daughter Cate, "I don't know what is going to happen next. Do you want to leave?"

Cate Edwards, who has been her father's most visible supporter, got up and left the courtroom wiping away tears as Edwards called after her, "Cate, Cate."

The day after the Enquirer's report was published, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards were en route to the Raleigh airport, but Elizabeth Edwards was pawing at her husband in the car and asking, "Is this what you two do in the car when you are together in New York City?" the court was told. Edwards stopped the car and got into another vehicle so that they arrived at the airport in separate cars. Edwards lowered his head in his hands as Reynolds spoke.

"Elizabeth was very upset... She was very vocal," Reynolds told the court. "She stormed off and collapsed into a ball in the parking lot."

Reynolds said aides helped Mrs. Edwards to her feet and into a restroom where they tried to calm her down.

"She seemed a little calmer and then stormed out of the bathroom and tried to engage Mr. Edwards. She said to him, 'You don't see me any more,'" and tore off her shirt and bra.

"How did John Edwards react to this?" the prosecutor asked.

"He didn't have much of a reaction," Reynolds said.

On cross examination, Edwards' lawyer Abbe Lowell got Reynolds to say that Mrs. Edwards was "mortified" and "humiliated."

"Her primary concern was the family....She didn't want it to become public so the kids wouldn't have to deal with it," she said.

Edwards is accused of illegally using campaign donations to keep his mistress hidden, but Lowell's questions apparently were intended to bolster the defense's argument that Edwards used the money to keep the secret from his wife, not his campaign.

If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison.

Earlier in the day, Edwards' lawyer made a final effort to discredit the main prosecution witnesses against him by having Cheri Young concede that $3,800 of the money meant to hide Edwards' mistress was spent on refashioning her wedding ring.

Cheri Young is the wife of Edwards' former aide Andrew Young. The couple helped hide Hunter for more than a year, handling more than $1 million from wealthy backers to keep Edwards' affair secret.

Edwards' defense alleges that the Youngs used the sex scandal to enrich themselves, including spending $200,000 of the hush money to add a pool, a theater and other expensive upgrades to their home.

Defense lawyer Alan Duncan tried to reenforce that point Wednesday by presenting two bills from a jewelry store that the Youngs included in their expenses for covering up the affair. The bills totalled $3,800.

Duncan asked what the bills were for, prompting Cheri Young to reply, "This is an item my husband purchased for me, a revision of my wedding ring."

Mrs. Young left the stand after four days of questioning. She and her husband were the trial's first two witnesses, and their questioning has last nearly eight days.

Edwards' defense in part is that the money was used to hide Hunter from his wife Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, not to hide her from the campaign, and that the money was not campaign donations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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