Local News

Jury pool qualified for Edwards trial

Posted April 18, 2012
Updated April 19, 2012

— A federal judge has qualified 42 potential jurors for former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' trial on alleged campaign finance violations.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said she wanted to provide prosecutors and defense attorneys with at least 40 jurors whom she deems fair and impartial. Attorneys for both sides will then pick 12 jurors and four alternates next Monday, when the six-week trial is expected to begin.

Eagles apologized several times Wednesday for the slow pace of qualifying jurors, saying that she was "a bad estimator of time." But she vowed she would keep the process moving.

She finished up questioning on Thursday, when several people were excused for economic and personal reasons.

A planned Friday hearing regarding a defense subpoena of information from former Edwards speech-writer Wendy Button has been canceled, but it was unclear whether the two sides had worked out their differences.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts related to secret payments from wealthy campaign donors used to hide his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, as he sought the White House in 2008.

His national campaign finance chairman, the late Texas lawyer Fred Baron, and campaign donor Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, an heiress and socialite who is now 101 years old, gave nearly $1 million combined for Hunter's medical care and to pay for flights and accommodations for her during the campaign. Both had already given Edwards' campaign the maximum $2,300 individual contribution allowed by federal law.

Edwards maintains the money for Hunter was personal gifts and not contributions to his campaign.


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  • unc70 Apr 19, 2012

    Edwards is not accused of using ordinary campaign contributions for his personal use or to support Hunter. There are specific monies from two people that they and Edwards claim were personal gifts that the government claims were really campaign donations. The charges were brought by federal prosecutors lead by George Holding, currently a GOP candidate for Congress and running the misleading 9-9-Nein against his primary opponent Paul Coble.

    No one has previously been charged using this broad interpretation of the campaign laws (that personal gifts to candidates must be treated as campaign donations). No one else will be charged because it would be exempt under current laws and interpretations. (do it now directly using a Super PAC and no limits on what you can do).

  • Icaretoo Apr 19, 2012

    I am amazed about the comments that he is guilty of the charges!! This is America ... innocent until proven guilty in a court of law!!! I'm sure Ambygirl would never have made it through jury selection!!! You have totally formed your opinions based on what you have read ... the problem there all the evidence is not public as yet!! People go to trial all the time and are found NOT GUILTY ... where do you get the idea if you are charged you are guilty, sczarnecki?????? These comments are just scary!!

  • not my real name Apr 19, 2012

    where did they find 16 people that have been living under a rock for the last 5 years?

  • sczarnecki Apr 19, 2012

    He is innocent till proven guilty,but they have evidence against him or he would not be going to court,RIGHT!One thing is he got caught having an afair,how stupid on his part,he is ruined any ways.

  • Angel67 Apr 19, 2012


  • Ambygirl Apr 19, 2012

    Leave him alone???? After all the lying he has done to the people of NC??? He used campaign money to cover up his adulterous affair and that directly affects the people of NC!! And as for OJ Simpson?? He ruined his own life!! I suppose dwallace you are one of those that STILL thinks he innocent. What planet have you been living on???

  • dwallace9392 Apr 19, 2012

    Leave the man alone.It's all just a game of politics.You hate the man because he committed adultry. He has paid for that and you want be satisfied until you have ruined the man life.Sounds like the O.J.Simpson case to me.We will get him one way or another.What a waste of tax payers dollars in such hard times.

  • djofraleigh Apr 18, 2012

    The man who made it all in front of a jury may lose it all there now!

  • Good Bye WRAL Apr 18, 2012

    How can anyone qualify for this jury? We all know who was running for president and vice-president in 2004 & 2008. A jury of your peers is NOT what we get in our court systems these days. Mr Edwards 'peers' are excluded from the jury pool by the lawyers, so this jury must really be clueless. It'll be a jury of people who can't get out of jury duty, LOL.

    (I personally would welcome any jury duty, but my voting record must preclude me from selection? Several friends and family members get notified every few years, but never me. hmmmmm)