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Entries in John Edwards (74)

Wednesday
May022012

John Edwards Trial to Hear From Staffer He Fired Over Mistress

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The trial of John Edwards is expected to hear Wednesday from a former campaign aide who was fired after a yelling match about Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter.

Josh Brumberger is expected to be sworn in as a witness after Cheri Young concludes her fourth day on the stand.

Brumberger was 27 when he was part of Edwards staff during the 2007-08 presidential campaign and was present when Hunter first approached Edwards in a hotel bar, telling the Democratic presidential hopeful how handsome he was.

Brumberger thought he had succeeded in shooing away the latest woman to hit on the former senator who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, only to see the two of them talking later on the street outside the hotel.

In the book about the Edwards' sex scandal Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Brumberger and others watched as Hunter became increasingly attached to Edwards while working as his campaign videographer.

Brumberger twice tried to diplomatically warn Edwards that people on the campaign were noticing the relationship and that it could damage his candidacy.

Edwards, according to the book, called Brumberger to an airport meeting after rumors began appearing in the National Enquirer and blamed Brumberger for spreading the rumor. The men ended up yelling at each other in the airport meeting room before Edwards fired him.

Before Brumberger is called, Edwards' lawyers will finish cross examining Cheri Young, 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.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

John Edwards' Lawyer Suggests Witness Wants to 'Get' Him

SKETCH BY CHRISTINE CORNELL(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- A lawyer for John Edwards bluntly asked a key witness Tuesday who gave damaging testimony against the former presidential candidate, "You are interested in getting John Edwards, right?"

It was one of a series of accusatory questions put to Cheri Young, the wife of Edwards' former top aide Andrew Young.

Cheri Young and her husband Andrew have been the first two witnesses in Edwards' trial and both have claimed that Edwards assured them that it was legal to funnel $725,000 through Cheri Young's personal account.

The money from wealthy backers was meant to help hide Rielle Hunter, Edwards' mistress who had gotten pregnant after Edwards' wife demanded that he end the affair.

Edwards was running for president during much of the 2007-08 coverup and is accused of illegally using campaign donations to keep his mistress a secret. If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison.

Edwards' attorney Alan Duncan appeared to depict the Youngs as schemers who used Edwards' scandal as a chance to enrich themselves and suggested that Cheri Young was angry at the former candidate because her husband spent so much time working for him.

"Mr. Edwards was like a third person in your marriage and you had a great deal of anger about that, didn't you?" Duncan asked Mrs. Young.

"Isn't it true that because Mr. Young did not do the things you needed him to do for your family that you blamed Mr. and Mrs. Edwards for that?" he persisted.

Cheri Young rejected both suggestions, but she had testified Monday about the escalating demands made on her family by Edwards during the scandal. When her husband was expected to claim paternity of Hunter's child to protect Edwards, she said her thought was, "The first thing in my mind was how in the world could Mr. Edwards ask one more thing of me? Of us?"

"If you can get John Edwards then that's what you want to do....You are interested in getting John Edwards, right?" Duncan asked. Mrs. Young replied, "There is no hatred. I can't live like that."

Questions by Edwards' lawyer loudly hinted that Cheri and Andrew Young began collecting voicemails and seeking funds for the coverup as a way to make money off the scandal when they realized that Hunter was pregnant. He noted they spent a lot of the cover-up money on their house, sold a lucrative book deal and have sold movie rights to the book.

"You had already come up with the scheme by June of 2007," he said as a question, which she denied.

"Those recordings were not kept for a book," Cheri Young said. "It was because we accepted paternity for your client. And for this exact reason today. It was all a lie and here we are in court, and that's why they were saved."

The defense showed a 13-minute video that Cheri Young took of the house where Hunter lived showing furniture, photos, newspaper articles, sticky notes listing the birthdates of John Travolta, Matt Dillon and Jeff Daniels. There was a list of possible baby names, including Quinn, which Hunter later named her child.

Cheri Young testified that she took the video "to show that the money was actually spent, to prove that there really was a Rielle Hunter and there really was a house that I rented for her. This was proof that there really was a Rielle Hunter that I took care of," she said.

Earlier Tuesday, Cheri Young admitted that her husband took Ambien and drank "a lot" during the time he was helping to hide Edwards' mistress, but denied Duncan's suggestion that it caused memory problems for him.

Duncan noted that Mrs. Young was not a witness to conversations between her husband and Edwards, and indicated that what Andrew Young told her may not have been reliable.

"Have you ever told anyone that Andrew Young is such an accomplished liar that not even you as his wife can tell when he's telling the truth?" Duncan asked.

"Not that I recall," she answered.

Duncan also asked whether Andrew Young's memory was affected by alcohol and a sleep aid drug.

"Has his drinking been a concern to you?" he asked Mrs. Young.

"He drank a lot in 2006 and 2007. I don't believe after that," she said.

Cheri Young conceded that she told the FBI and prosecutors recently that her husband has taken Ambien for years, but initially rejected Duncan's question that it affects his memory.

Duncan then read from a transcript of the April 19 meeting with the FBI and prosecutors quoting it as saying, "Ambien makes her husband loopy and he couldn't remember things the next day."

"Yes, that is correct," Mrs. Young replied.

The cross examination began a day after Cheri Young tearfully told the court that was "disgusted" with Edwards' efforts to hide his pregnant mistress but decided to help anyway.

During her testimony Monday, Cheri Young testified that she agreed to go along with a scheme to funnel more than $1 million of donations through her account because Edwards assured her that it was legal.

She explained to the court, at times through tears, why she repeatedly agreed to go along with escalating demands on her and her husband to hide Hunter, even allowing her husband to claim paternity of Edwards' child with Hunter.

Cheri Young told the court that everybody was on board with the paternity plan except her. If she refused, "the campaign would explode and I would be responsible. So I ultimately agreed to go along with the lie."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

John Edwards' Lawyers Take Aim at Aide's Wife

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, S.C.) -- John Edwards' legal team is waiting their turn to grill Cheri Young Tuesday, the woman who tearfully told a court that she was "disgusted" with Edwards' efforts to hide his pregnant mistress, but decided to help anyway.

Young is the wife of Edwards' former top aide Andrew Young. She returns to the stand Tuesday after her emotional testimony Monday was cut short by a migraine headache.

On cross examination she can expect to be asked why about $1 million of the alleged hush money ended up in her family's pockets and helped bankroll the construction of their luxurious North Carolina home.

Her husband, who was the leadoff witness in the trial last week, was kept on the stand for more than two days of grueling cross examination by Edwards' lawyers.

Edwards is accused of using campaign donations during the 2007-08 presidential campaign to hide his mistress Rielle Hunter. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

The defense claims that Edwards used the money to hide Hunter from his wife, not from the government or the public.

During her testimony Monday, Cheri Young, 38, testified that she agreed to go along with a scheme to funnel more than $1 million of donations through her account because Edwards assured her that it was legal.

"I heard Mr. John Edwards tell me on the phone that he checked with the campaign lawyers and this is legal. Get the money in," she testified that Edwards said to her. "He was very short and very angry."

She explained to the court, at times through tears, why she repeatedly agreed to go along with escalating demands on her and her husband to hide Hunter, even allowing her husband to claim paternity of Edwards' child with Hunter.

Cheri Young told the court that everybody was on board with the paternity plan except her. If she refused, "The campaign would explode and I would be responsible. So I ultimately agreed to go along with the lie." The court also ruled on Monday that testimony about a sex tape made by Edwards and his mistress may yet play a significant role in the trial as the judge cleared the way for testimony surrounding the steamy video.

Prosecutors and Edwards' lawyers have agreed the video itself won't be shown to jurors.

Among the questions that Edwards' lawyers may seek to be answered, they said in court today while the jury was out, was whether former Edwards aide Andrew Young stole the video from Hunter, whether he tried to sell it, and whether he threatened Edwards with it when the effort to hide Hunter was unraveling.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

John Edwards Sex Tape Testimony Will Be Allowed, Court Rules

Sketch by Christine Cornell(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The sex tape made by John Edwards and his mistress Rielle Hunter may yet play a significant role in Edwards' trial as the judge cleared the way Monday for testimony surrounding the steamy video that was made as Edwards was preparing to run for president.

Prosecutors and Edwards' lawyers have agreed the video itself won't be shown to jurors.

But the two sides have agreed that testimony about the tape can be introduced.

Among the questions that Edwards' lawyers may seek to be answered, they said in court Monday while the jury was out, was whether former Edwards aide Andrew Young stole the video from Hunter, whether he tried to sell it, and whether he threatened Edwards with it when the effort to hide Hunter was unraveling.

Earlier questions about the video were put on hold until Judge Catherine Eagles made a ruling about it.

The ruling came during a day of often angry and emotional testimony from Young's wife, Cheri Young, who told the court she was disgusted by Edwards' financial scheme to hide his girlfriend's pregnancy, but agreed to help after Edwards personally assured her that it was legal.

"I heard Mr. John Edwards tell me on the phone that he checked with the campaign lawyers and this is legal. Get the money in," she testified that Edwards said to her. "He was very short and very angry."

It was the second time jurors heard a witness testify that Edwards had insisted that the financial scheme was legal. Andrew Young has also testified that he was assured by Edwards there was nothing illegal in what they doing to hide Hunter's pregnancy.

Edwards is accused of using campaign donations to hide his mistress. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

John Edwards Told Cheri Young the Mistress Money Was Legal

Sara D. Davis/Getty Image(GREENSBORO, S.C.) -- The wife of John Edwards' former aide testified Monday that she was "disgusted" by Edwards' financial scheme to hide his pregnant mistress, but agreed to help after Edwards personally assured her that it was legal.

"I wanted to hear it from Mr. Edwards myself," Cheri Young told the court Monday, once she was told that checks meant to keep mistress Rielle Hunter out of sight would be written out to Cheri Young's maiden name.

An impatient Edwards did call Mrs. Young, the wife of his longtime aide Andrew Young, who had been helping to hide Hunter.

"I heard Mr. John Edwards tell me on the phone that he checked with the campaign lawyers and this is legal. Get the money in," she testified that Edwards said to her. "He was very short and very angry."

"I cannot tell you how disgusted I was. Why me? This was my husband's fight. He did this all day. Fix the problem, fix the problem. Now guess what? This is now my problem," she said.

It was the second time jurors heard a witness testify that Edwards had insisted that the financial scheme was legal.

Edwards is accused of using campaign donations to hide his mistress. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Cheri Young, 38, a diminutive part-time pediatric nurse, took the stand Monday at the start of the second week of testimony. It was an often emotional, tearful recounting of the stress upon her and her family as they tried to keep Edwards' secret during the 2007-08 presidential campaign as Edwards kept asking her and her husband for more help.

Initially it was the checks, then it was to have Hunter move in with them. They later hit the road with Hunter so the media couldn't find her. Mrs. Young burst into tears while recounting how Edwards then suggested that her husband claim paternity for his baby.

Each time Mrs. Young gave in, including over the question of paternity.

"My husband and I had both done everything to help make this man president....If I didn't do this, take care of this, the campaign was going down," she said when confronted with the plan to funnel money through her name.

When confronted with the plan for her husband to say he had an affair with Hunter and got her pregnant, Cheri Young said, "The first thing in my mind was how in the world could Mr. Edwards ask one more thing of me? Of us?'"

She testified that she was furious at her husband, that she "screamed at him, cursed at him."

Mrs. Young's crying prompted the judge to halt proceedings and send the jurors out of the courtroom. When she had composed herself, Cheri Young explained to the court that everybody was on board with the paternity plan except her.

If she refused, "The campaign would explode and I would be responsible. So I ultimately agreed to go along with the lie."

Mrs. Young described living with Edwards' mistress as increasingly stressful. At first she was "shaking in her boots" when she went to cash the checks meant for Hunter's expenses. There was the abrupt announcement that Hunter was coming to live with them because their home was in a gated community, making it hard for the press to find her.

"She walked into the hallway. She took a spin and opened her arms out wide and said, 'I'm here.' I literally fell into the couch and I was just in awe. There was no hello," Cheri Young said.

Hunter treated them as servants, she said. "She told us what she wanted and we did it," Cheri Young said.

When the National Enquirer tracked Hunter to their home, the Youngs had a fright. Their children came downstairs in their pajamas one evening for a snack and they saw a man peering into their window.

"I screamed, my children screamed. And we called 911," she testified.

They hit the road to keep Hunter unavailable to the press and her demands increased to the point where she resisted allowing the Youngs to return home so they could put their kids in school.

Mrs. Young can expect a tough grilling during cross examination. Her husband was questioned for two days by Edwards' lead attorney, Abbe Lowell.

She can expect to be asked why about $1 million of the alleged hush money ended up in her family's pockets and helped bankroll the construction of their luxurious North Carolina home.

Edwards' defense team laced into Andrew Young, claiming that he used the scandal to enrich himself. They also claimed that Edwards used the money to hide Hunter from his wife, not from the government or the public.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr302012

John Edwards Trial Resumes With Aide's Wife

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, S.C.) -- The criminal trial of John Edwards enters its second week Monday morning with the wife of the prosecution's star witness expected to explain why she allowed her husband to claim paternity for the child Edwards fathered with his mistress.

Cheri Young, 38, a diminutive part-time pediatric nurse, and the wife of former Edwards aide Andrew Young, is expected to re-count the details of her role in the months long cover up of Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter during his failed bid for the presidency in 2007-08.

During her testimony Monday and later during cross examination she will likely be grilled about why nearly $1 million of the alleged hush money ended up in her family's pockets and helped bankroll the construction of their luxurious North Carolina home.

She will be asked why she agreed to take Hunter into her home, and why she and their three children eventually joined her husband on a cross-country odyssey with Hunter to escape the media.

Perhaps most controversial will be her explanation of why she allowed her husband to claim paternity of Hunter's baby with Edwards.

Mrs. Young was called to the stand late Friday, testifying for less than 30 minutes, recalling how her husband was so devoted to John and Elizabeth Edwards that he was willing to do "anything and everything" for the Edwards family. It caused strain in the Youngs' marriage, she said, because the things he did for the Edwards family, he rarely did for his own.

Edwards is accused of using campaign donations to hide his mistress. If convicted, Edwards could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

In a bitterly contested testimony last week, Andrew Young said he was told that hiding Rielle Hunter was the most important job in the campaign, even after Edwards dropped out of the presidential race because he was angling for a top job, possibly vice president or attorney general.

Edwards' defense team laced into Young claiming that he used the scandal to enrich himself. They also claimed that Edwards used the money to hide Hunter from his wife, not from the government or the public.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

John Edwards Judge Won't Block Sex Tape Testimony

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The judge in the John Edwards trial Friday rejected a bid by Edwards' former mistress to sharply restrict what the court and the public can hear about a sex tape the couple made together.

The tape shows Rielle Hunter, who later gave birth to Edwards' child, and it shows enough of Edwards to be able to identify him.

Judge Catherine Eagles rebuffed the request Friday, after she had earlier ruled that the video itself was inadmissible and would not be introduced during the trial.

Hunter, who was a videographer on Edwards' failed bid for the presidency in 2007, is expected to testify later in the trial.

The tape came up when Edwards' lawyer Abbe Lowell was grilling key prosecution witness Andrew Young about the final conversation that Edwards and Young during a car ride on Aug. 18, 2008 in a wooded area. By this time their friendship had been severely strained by the extraordinary efforts to keep the secret of Hunter's pregnancy.

During their conversation Young told Edwards, "If he wasn't going to tell the truth about what transpired, then I was going to tell the truth."

Young told Edwards that he had saved voicemails, text messages, emails and photographs.

"You also told Mr. Edwards you had a private video of Miss Hunters?" Lowell asked.

At that point, the prosecution objected and the subject was not pressed.

Young said that Edwards was sweaty and "at one point I was scared for my life."

"Did you think John Edwards was going to shoot you?" Lowell asked.

"Not personally," Young answered.

"You thought there was a gunman in the woods who was going to come and shoot you?" the lawyer asked.

"That thought did cross my mind," he answered.

"Were you afraid there was a gun or a tape recorder?" Lowell asked.

"Both occurred to me," Young replied.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly using more than $900,000 in campaign donations illegally to hide Hunter and her pregnancy.  His defense, however, says the money was used to hide the affair from Edwards' wife and was not related to his presidential campaign.

They emphasized that point Friday by noting that in a book Young wrote about the affair he said that during the Aug. 18 car ride Edwards told his once trusted aide that he had already confessed to his wife, Elizabeth Edwards. "I have told Elizabeth and you can't hurt me," was the quote.

During his testimony this week, however, Young has said to the court that Edwards said simply, "You can't hurt me."

They have also depicted Young as a greedy liar who used the scandal for his own financial profit.

In Friday's testimony, Young conceded that he included as affair-related expenses trips with his family to Disneyland, Legoland, skiing in Aspen, and a trip to Mexico.

He also admitted spending $200,000 of the money to put in a pool at his home and wire it for audio.

Young testified earlier this week that he was told that hiding Hunter was the "most important" job in the campaign, even after Edwards dropped out of the race because he was hoping to become vice president or attorney general.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

John Edwards' Defense Says Key Witness Double Dipped on Expenses

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards' defense team battered the credibility of a key prosecution witness on Thursday, getting Andrew Young to admit that he double dipped on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of expenses while hiding Edwards' pregnant mistress.

Defense lawyer Abbe Lowell also raised doubts about a series of statements that Young has made, and bolstered the defense's argument that Young used Edwards' sex scandal to enrich himself.

In a barrage of questions, Lowell suggested that Young volunteered to claim paternity for Edwards' pregnant mistress to make Edwards more indebted to him, and raised the possibility that it was Young who alerted the National Enquirer to the scandal, a suggestion Young denied.

Young is a crucial witness for the prosecution which accuses Edwards of using illegal donations from two supporters to hide the pregnancy of mistress Rielle Hunter during the 2008 presidential campaign.  Edwards, who twice ran for the presidency, could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Young has testified that he was assigned to keep Hunter hidden even after Edwards dropped out of the presidential race because Edwards was angling for a top spot, possibly vice president or attorney general.

Thursday was the second day of Lowell's grinding cross examination and he wrested a damaging admission from Young who conceded that he sought reimbursement from one of Edwards' wealthy backers -- Fred Baron -- for expenses already paid by another wealthy backer -- Rachel "Bunny" Mellon.

In March 2008, Young has testified, he provided Baron with a spread sheet of expenses he had incurred for the cover-up, totalling more than $200,000.  What Young didn't tell Baron is that he had already paid the expenses with Mellon's money which totalled $725,000.

Young has testified that the reason he didn't tell Baron about Mellon's money is that Edwards had instructed him to keep each donor in the dark about the other.

Baron gave Young $335,000 to cover Hunter's expenses, records show.

Young was building a house at the time and he conceded during testimony that "a substantial amount," of Mellon's money went into finishing a house he was building, and the plans expanded to include a swimming pool, to wire the house for audio and digital, and put a guest room in the attic.

Lowell also focused on Young's contention that Edwards lobbied him to handle the pregnancy scandal by claiming paternity.  The request was made, Young has claimed, in a phone call from Edwards on Dec. 13 while Young was shopping for an aquarium in a Petsmart store.

The deciding factor in agreeing to the charade, Young has said, was seeing a Newsweek magazine that had Edwards on the cover with the headline "The Sleeper," suggesting he could still win the presidency.

But Lowell produced evidence that the magazine cover was actually dated Dec. 24, and asked Young whether the Petsmart version was a made-up story.

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Wednesday
Apr252012

John Edwards Says 'Sun Is Out' After Ex-Aide Described as Liar

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards was clearly delighted Wednesday when his defense team ripped into the prosecution's main witness, portraying Andrew Young as a liar who tried to use Edwards' scandal to "make a lot of money."

"Oh the sun is out in more ways than one," Edwards said cheerfully as he left court Wednesday.

Young testified for two days about how he helped hide Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter while Edwards pursued the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and then kept her under wraps while Edwards angled for the vice president's spot on the ticket.

During much of his testimony, Edwards stared straight at Young.

Wednesday afternoon, Edwards' defense team began a cross examination of Young and zeroed in on inconsistencies and mistakes that Young made in television interviews, before a grand jury and in his book about the affair, The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down.

"Is it true in each and every one of those cases you've lied?" attorney Abbe Lowell asked Young. Young denied the suggestion.

Lowell accused Young of using knowledge of Edwards' affair with Hunter "to get leverage against him and make a lot of money."

"Isn't it fair you viewed Mr. Edwards as your ticket to the top and your only chance at prestige," Lowell asked. Young admitted he was ambitious and that "I believed working for a future president could lead to great things."

"You really hate him, don't you," Lowell pressed.

"I have mixed feelings," Young replied.

Under Lowell's questioning, Young also admitted that his nickname for Edwards' late wife Elizabeth was Ursula, the evil sea witch from "The Little Mermaid."

The blistering questioning will resume Thursday when Young is back on the stand.

Earlier in the day, Young testified that even after Edwards lost the presidential nomination, he was told that hiding Edwards' mistress was still "the most important job on the campaign" because Edwards was angling to be vice president.

Young told the court that living with Edwards' demanding girlfriend was unpleasant and that he began to suspect that Edwards was not going to keep promises made to Young.

The tension became so great that during a meeting, Edwards and Young came close to throwing punches, Young said Wednesday.

Young and his wife, Cheri, had been assigned by Edwards to keep Hunter hidden from the press, a job that put them on the road for months and became increasingly difficult after Edwards dropped out of the Democratic presidential race in 2008.

He testified that even though Edwards was out of the Democratic presidential race, Edwards and Fred Baron, Edwards' national campaign finance chairman, were still focused on a job possibly as vice president or attorney general.

"He told me I needed to stay focused on the job at hand," Young testified during his third day on the witness stand. "He told me to take a deep breath. Do the best I can....Mr. Baron wanted us to try and hold on until the Democratic National Convention."

Young said that Baron told him, "Cheri and I have the most important job on the campaign."

Edwards is accused of conspiring with others to use hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions during the 2008 presidential race to cover up his affair. His defense team has maintained that while the two-time presidential candidate's actions were deplorable, they were not illegal.

Young was accused of funneling money to Hunter and falsely claiming that her child was his. Young, who is married with three children, took an immunity deal with the prosecution.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Hiding John Edward's Mistress Was a Job

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- John Edwards' former aide testified today that even after Edwards lost the presidential nomination, he was told that hiding Edwards' mistress was still "the most important job on the campaign" because Edwards was angling to be vice president.

Andrew Young told the court that living with Edwards' demanding girlfriend Rielle Hunter was unpleasant and that he began to suspect that Edwards was not going to keep promises made to Young.

The tension became so great that during a meeting, Edwards and Young came close to throwing punches, Young said on Wednesday.

Young and his wife, Cheri, had been assigned by Edwards to keep Hunter hidden from the press, a job that put them on the road for months and became increasingly difficult after Edwards dropped out of the Democratic presidential race in 2008.

Young said that during a meeting in Texas with Fred Baron, Edwards' national campaign finance chairman, in the spring of 2008, they discussed the Youngs' long-term plans because the couple no longer wanted to live with Hunter.

He testified that even though Edwards was out of the Democratic presidential race, Edwards and Baron were still focused on a job possibly as vice president or attorney general.

"He told me I needed to stay focused on the job at hand," Young testified during his third day on the witness stand. "He told me to take a deep breath. Do the best I can. ... Mr. Baron wanted us to try and hold on until the Democratic National Convention."

Young said that Baron told him, "Cheri and I have the most important job on the campaign."

Edwards is accused of conspiring with others to use hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions during the 2008 presidential race to cover up his affair. His defense team has maintained that while the two-time presidential candidate's actions were deplorable, they were not illegal.

Young was accused of funneling money to Hunter and falsely claiming that her child was his. Young, who is married with three children, took an immunity deal with the prosecution.

In late December 2007, Young testified, he and a pregnant Hunter left North Carolina and went into hiding. Baron funded the trip that included stops in Florida and Baron's home in Colorado.

During that meeting with Baron in Texas, Young was told to summarize the expenses on Hunter.

A rundown of those expenses totaling more than $200,000 was shown in court today. The expenses included more than $28,000 for Hunter's BMW, $2,400 for housekeeping as well as $40,000 in cash as Hunter's allowance.

Young said that Baron told him that he and his family could never return to North Carolina because Edwards was going to be a very prominent person.

"Mr. Edwards, according to the media and what Fred Baron was saying, was going to be the vice presidential nominee and we needed to keep the cover-up going," Young testified.

He said that Baron told him to sell his home, which was still under construction, and "create a new life."

Young said he became increasingly upset because after Edwards dropped out in 2008 and Hunter's baby was born, Edwards cut off contact with Young.

Young said that in June, he and Edwards had an angry meeting in Washington D.C. Young said that he told Edwards he was unhappy and explained his concerns.

"We had a very angry exchange," he told the court today. He said the two started yelling at each other and nearly came to blows. Before the two parted, Young testified, Edwards told Young that he loved him and would never abandon him.

On Tuesday, Young testified that he and his wife were "scared to death" as they accepted checks as large as $150,000 marked as payment for furniture when the money was really meant to help hide Edwards' affair with Hunter.

The money came from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a wealthy philanthropist who made the personal checks out to her friend and interior decorator. The friend, Bryan Huffman, would co-sign checks with Cheri Young in her maiden name, he said. Young said his wife would then deposit the checks into their own account.

Young said that Edwards insisted that it was not illegal and that no one was going to get in trouble.

In June 2008, Young said today, his requests to Mellon for money escalated with a plea for help in setting up a poverty foundation with up to $40 million. He said that she got very upset, accusing him and Edwards of using her for her money.

Young said that when he told Edwards of Mellon's reaction, Edwards laughed.

"He said, 'The good news is it's doable,'" Young said. "He said, 'I will calm Mrs. Mellon.'"

The former aide also testified today that Baron, who was being treated for cancer at the Mayo Clinic, had gotten very angry after Young told him that the National Enquirer had caught Edwards visiting Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in July 2008.

"He started cussing Mr. Edwards out," Young said. "[He said:] 'What the f--k was he thinking? He's ruined everything we've worked for.'"

In August, Edwards admitted in an ABC News interview that he'd had an extramarital affair, but said that he was not the father of Hunter's baby. Young said today that he didn't think the interview was a good idea at the time but that he'd told Edwards, "Tell the whole truth or don't do anything at all."

Young said after the interview -- during which Edwards also said he didn't know whether Young was the father -- he was extremely angry. "I didn't understand why Mr. Edwards didn't clear my name," Young said.

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