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Entries in Testimony (2)

Friday
Apr132012

John Edwards’ Daughter May Testify in His Criminal Trial

Steve Exum/Getty Images(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Cate Edwards, the oldest daughter of John Edwards and his late wife, Elizabeth, is among the witnesses who may be called to testify in the criminal trial that could send her father to prison for up to 30 years. Her name appeared among a list of dozens of potential witnesses who could be called by the defense team.

A newly married graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, Cate Edwards recently put her own fledgling legal career on hold to launch an educational foundation in her mother’s name.

She accompanied her father to court last June on the day federal prosecutors announced a six-count indictment against the former Democratic presidential candidate, who’s accused of accepting nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions that were allegedly used to cover up his extra-marital affair with Rielle Hunter.

Cate Edwards has not commented publicly about the criminal case, and there’s no indication that she was aware of the efforts to hide her father’s affair.

Jury selection got under way this week for the highly anticipated trial, which is set to begin April 23, and is expected to last at least six weeks.  Edwards has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his defense team has assailed the government’s case as a “crazy” and “radical” interpretation of campaign finance laws.

The defense team’s witness list, which was filed late Thursday, also includes, in addition to Cate Edwards, Rielle Hunter, and a host of former political staff members, some of whom have gone on to work in the Obama administration.

The prosecution’s witness list is headlined by Andrew Young, a former aide to Edwards who handled the money for the alleged cover-up, and once falsely claimed paternity of the daughter Edwards fathered with Hunter.  Young, who wrote a book about the scandal and struck a deal with prosecutors for his testimony, is expected to be the key witness for the government.

The judge overseeing the case has ruled that all the witnesses will be sequestered, with the exception of Edwards’ immediate family.  So Cate Edwards will be free to observe the trial.

She was among the spectators in the courtroom this week as nearly 200 potential jurors filled out questionnaires in federal court in Greensboro, N.C.  U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles, after introducing the well-known defendant to the pool of jurors, reminded them that this case is “not about whether Mr. Edwards was a good husband or politician.  It’s about whether he violated campaign finance laws.”

If John Edwards is convicted and sentenced to  prison, Cate Edwards could become the legal guardian of her two younger siblings -- Emma Claire,13, and Jack, 11 -- according to the terms of Elizabeth Edwards’ will. She died in December 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov112011

Nixon Seen as ‘Self-Pitying,’ ‘Whiny’ in Released Watergate Testimony

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Less than 12 miles from the Watergate apartments, documents containing former President Richard Nixon’s grand jury testimony about the scandal that bears the building’s name were released to the public on Thursday.

“It’s Nixon being Nixon,” said Stanley Kutler, one of the foremost historians on Nixon and the Watergate scandal.  “He whines, he’s self-pitying, he’s assertive, he’s saying ‘I don’t recall, I don’t recollect’ perhaps several thousand times -- at least several hundred.”

He even refers to the burglary, which eventually forced him out of office under threat of impeachment, as that “silly, incredible Watergate break-in.”

Nixon testified about his administration’s involvement in the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate complex 10 months after he resigned from office.  It was the first time in history that a former president had given evidence under oath.

The unveiling of that testimony to the public on Thursday marks a similarly rare occurrence, as grand jury testimony is almost always kept confidential.

Kutler, along with a team of others, successfully sued for the release of the more than 700 pages of transcripts, memos and testimony.

While those thousands of hours of tapes add shading to the already painted picture of Nixon’s character, it is the infamous 18.5-minute gap in the tape recordings of an Oval Office conversation that prosecutors were most interested in when they interviewed the former president under penalty of perjury for two days in 1975.

“I know a lot of people want to find out what happened during the 18.5-minute gap, but he doesn’t say,” said David Paynter, an archivist in the Special Access Division of the National Archives.  “He just says that was just one meeting the day he’d come back from a time in Florida.  In fact it was 18 minutes out of an entire day, so it’s not something he recalled.”

No matter how many times -- and there were many -- that prosecutors questioned Nixon about the missing conversation, Nixon’s only response over the 11 hours of questioning was that he was shocked to find out that much time was missing.

“I practically blew my stack,” Nixon said of finding out that nearly 20 minutes of the tape had disappeared.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio