ABC News on May 31, 2012 released the following:
JAMES HILL and MAT MENDEZ
“After a lengthy deliberation, a North Carolina jury has reached a verdict in the John Edwards mistress-and-money trial.
The verdict is expected to be read shortly.
The jury began deliberating on May 18 after a month of testimony, which at times sounded more like a steamy soap opera than a trial on the intricacies of campaign finance rules.
Charged with six counts of violating federal campaign laws, Edwards was accused by the government of soliciting nearly $1 million from wealthy backers to finance a cover up of his illicit affair and illegitimate child while running for president in 2008.
If convicted, Edwards can face up to 30 years in prison and be fined more than $1 million, although it is unlikely he will face the most severe penalties.
The government spent three weeks building its case. Much of it hinged on the testimony of Andrew Young, once Edwards’ most loyal aide, who testified he collected $725,000 from wealthy heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, who disguised her contributions as payments for antique furniture.
The prosecution detailed the way Edwards met mistress Rielle Hunter and how he worked throughout his campaign to keep the affair and later his love child a secret. The government said Fred Baron, another wealthy backer who was once Edwards’ campaign treasurer, contributed an additional $300,000 to move Hunter and her baby all over the country to keep them away from the media.
In just three days of defense testimony, Edwards’ lawyers tried to portray Young as the mastermind of a plot to use Edwards’ scandal to request funds for his own personal use. Any lies Edwards told, his lawyers, said were in an effort to keep the affair a secret from his wife, Elizabeth, who was dying of cancer, and not to advance his political career.
The jury consists of eight men and four women.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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