John Edwards Trial: Still No VerdictBy: Amanda Crum - May 25, 2012
The trial against John Edwards moves into its sixth day today without a decision from the jury, although they have asked for more exhibits to aid their process.
The case charges that Edwards solicited almost a million dollars in funds during his presidential campaign in order to keep his mistress out of the public eye as his wife battled cancer. The jury will be reviewing documents today outlining payments that Fred Baron–Edwards’ former campaign finance chairman–made to keep Rielle Hunter safely hidden away during the race for office in 2008.
The main argument for defense is that Edwards’ wife was growing increasingly suspicious that he was having an affair and was monitoring his phone calls and finances, and because Edwards didn’t want to upset her, he took cash gifts from Baron and from Rachel “Bunny” Mellon to keep Hunter a secret. The issue is whether or not the money was an illegal campaign contribution and whether Edwards spent it with knowledge of wrongdoing. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison and over a million dollars in fines.
Jurors are plowing through a mountain of documents today, including receipts and invoices from Baron, who is now deceased.