The John Edwards trial got underway Monday (April 23) in Greensboro, N.C. and legal analysts are already saying the face of the trial has changed – it’s not so much the United States v. John Edwards as it is John Edwards v. Andrew Young.
Young was an aide on Edwards campaign who was one of the key players in the cover-up of the Rielle Hunter affair and subsequent birth of her daughter Quinn, who is Edwards’ daughter. The defense is claiming Young pocketed most of the $725,000 used in the cover-up instead of Edwards using campaign donations strictly to hide the affair from the press, as the prosecution is claiming.
The prosecution is also alleging that Edwards asked Young to claim he (Young) was the actual father of Rielle’s baby, while the defense claims this was Young’s idea that Edwards just went along with.
A wrinkle that just came up in the trial is that Young recently contacted three other witnesses to find out how they would testify – which doesn’t look good for his credibility. It makes it look as though he’s scheming against Edwards to try to bring him down.
Finally, the defense is using the argument that the money was given via private gifts from friends of the Edwards family to spare cancer-stricken Elizabeth Edwards the public humiliation, but the prosecutor counts that it “wasn’t just a marriage on the line, it was a presidential candidacy. [Edwards] made a choice to break the law.”
The trial is on going. Daughter Kate Edwards is expected to be a key witness for Edwards, who faces up to 30 years in prison and up to a million dollars in fines if he is found guilty.