Edwards trial jury yet to reach verdict
GREENSBORO JURORS deciding the fate of former US Senator John Edwards in his campaign finance trial appeared on Thursday to be immersed in a detailed review of money spent by a supporter on the ex-presidential candidate’s mistress and political aide.
The North Carolina jury asked for a closer look at 20 more pieces of evidence on their fifth day of deliberations on whether Edwards broke federal election laws when he ran for president.
US District Judge Catherine Eagles asked the 12 jurors if they would like to have all of the trial exhibits at their disposal.
“Sounds like a great idea,” a male juror said as other members of the panel nodded.
Jurors have nearly four weeks of testimony and hundreds of exhibits to weigh as they determine whether Edwards, 58, conspired to use more than $900,000 from two supporters to conceal his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, as he chased the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Much of the government evidence requested by the jury on Thursday detailed the private plane flights and high-end accommodations paid by Edwards’ campaign finance chairman Fred Baron for Hunter and ex-aide Andrew Young during the campaign.
Hunter, Young and his family embarked on a months-long trek to evade the media that included stays in Florida, Colorado and California after Young falsely claimed paternity of the baby that Edwards fathered with Hunter.
Prosecutors said Edwards sought money from Baron and heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon to protect his political image.
But the defence argued the payments were personal gifts intended to keep his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, from learning he had fathered a child with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards died in 2010.