Witnesses named in former Senator Edwards' finance trial

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:25pm EDT

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards arrives at the federal court house for jury selection in Greensboro, North Carolina April 12, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Keane

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards arrives at the federal court house for jury selection in Greensboro, North Carolina April 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Keane

Related Topics

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - John Edwards' mistress, his eldest daughter and the campaign aide who helped hide the former presidential candidate's affair are among those named on the lengthy witness lists filed at the start of Edwards' campaign finance criminal trial.

Attorneys for the federal government and for the one-term Democratic U.S. senator revealed their potential witnesses after jury selection that kicked off in Greensboro, North Carolina on Thursday.

Edwards, 58, is accused of knowingly violating federal campaign finance laws by receiving more than $900,000 from two wealthy donors in an effort to conceal his extramarital affair while he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Justice Department attorneys say Edwards, who also ran for president in 2004 before becoming John Kerry's vice presidential running mate the same year, knew exposure of his pregnant mistress would destroy his public image and doom his campaign.

The former candidate, who faces prison time if convicted, denies any wrongdoing. He says he was unaware of the money used to cover living expenses, medical care and travel for Rielle Hunter, a campaign worker who gave birth to Edwards' child soon after he suspended his 2008 presidential bid.

Hunter is listed as a possible witness for both sides in the trial, which began on Thursday with 185 people sworn in for consideration as jurors. Jury selection resumes on Monday.

Edwards' eldest daughter, Cate, who accompanied her father to court on Thursday, could testify for the defense. Her mother and Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer in 2010.

Prosecutors expect to call former Edwards' campaign aide Andrew Young to the stand. Young, who was granted immunity by the government, initially claimed he had fathered Hunter's child and later wrote a book about Edwards' affair and the efforts to keep it shielded from the public.

Neither of the donors who supplied the money at the heart of the federal charges will testify.

Fred Baron, who was Edwards' 2008 campaign finance chairman, died in October 2008, and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon is elderly and physically unable to attend the trial. Baron's wife, Lisa Blue Baron, is listed as a witness.

(Reporting By Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Vicki Allen)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
S.B. wrote:
Next stop Florida. “Why specifically?”, you ask.

Because in Florida, within recent months, numerous and egregious violations of law have been committed that warrant multiple criminal prosecutions and other severe government sanctions. These crimes that have had all types of deleterious effects including, but not limited to, once again placing the integrity of Florida’s election results (for 2012) in jeopardy. A few of the things that are central to this issue are:

David P. Kreider [Mr. Kreider, a proven criminal, is a corrupt Alachua County Court judge. This criminally-corrupt judge also happens to be both (a) one of the circuit's former prosecutors and (b) a former Division Chief for the State Attorney's Office.]

Robert Roundtree, Chief Judge for Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit (he recently replaced the embattled Martha Lott who resigned from her chief judge post subsequent to becoming embroiled in this scandal which has started to implode; her resignation was announced on 04/09/2012 and was reported to have gone into effect on 04/05/2012)

Spencer Mann, Chief Investigator for the State Attorney’s Office of Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit

The conspiracy / scandal related to the “Gibson Case”

The two irrefutable reports and extensive corroborating evidence that is in the possession of agencies, including those within Florida’s 8th Judicial Circuit (and the aforementioned Spencer Mann and Chief Judge’s office). The comprehensive reports and evidence span a total of more than 100 pages and in-depthly detail criminal activities carried out under the color of law by criminal/judge David P. Kreider and various other co-conspirators.


This is the gateway to some additional serious corruption.

Apr 14, 2012 4:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus