Edwards trial judge refuses to dismiss case
GREENSBORO, North Carolina
GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) - The judge in the campaign finance abuse trial of former Senator John Edwards rejected his lawyers' arguments that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against the one-time presidential candidate and refused to dismiss the case.
Responding to a defense motion, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles said the court was satisfied that federal prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence on all charges to proceed with the case.
"We will let the jury decide," Eagles said in a bench ruling.
The ruling came a day after the prosecution finished presenting nearly three weeks of evidence and two dozen witnesses. Lawyers for Edwards will begin presenting the defense case on Monday.
Edwards, 58, is accused of soliciting more than $900,000 in illegal campaign contributions from two wealthy supporters in an effort to conceal his pregnant mistress from the media and voters.
The government says the candidate knew his bid for the presidency would be doomed if the affair was exposed.
Edwards faces potential prison time and a fine if convicted of any of six counts, including conspiring to solicit the money, accepting more than the $2,300 allowed from any one donor and failing to report the payments as contributions.
The defense says Edwards, who has pleaded not guilty, did not seek or receive any of the money. His lawyers argue the payments were meant to shield the affair from his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, not to influence the election, and thus should not be characterized as campaign contributions.
(Reporting by Wade Rawlins; writing by Dan Burns; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)
- Exclusive: Angry with Washington, 1 in 4 Americans open to secession
- U.S. Secret Service investigates after man jumps White House fence, reaches doors
- French jets strike in Iraq, expanding U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State |
- Alice, steampunk and a false name: enigma of an American jailed in North Korea
- North Korea says imprisoned American tried to become 'second Snowden'