Local Politics

Edwards' prosecutors grant former mistress immunity

Posted March 15, 2012

— Federal prosecutors on Thursday granted John Edwards' former mistress immunity from criminal charges for anything she says on the witness stand during the former Democratic presidential candidate's upcoming trial.

Edwards faces six criminal counts related to alleged campaign finance violations for using nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors to hide Rielle Hunter, who was pregnant with Edwards' child, during his 2008 campaign. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming that the money was a gift and not campaign contributions.

Jury selection is to begin April 12, and prosecutors say it's possible Hunter will be asked to testify.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled Thursday that two of Edwards' attorneys who represented Hunter in a civil suit cannot cross-examine her if prosecutors call her as a witness.

Under the agreement offered by the government, Hunter cannot be held criminally liable for any actions she testifies to as long as she's truthful.

Prosecutors had challenged the addition of Alan Duncan and Allison Van Laningham to Edwards' defense team, alleging a conflict of interest.

John Edwards investigation graphic Former mistress may testify at Edwards trial

The pair represented Hunter in her civil lawsuit against former Edwards aide Andrew Young over items she said Young and his wife took from her, including a purported videotape showing Edwards and Hunter engaged in sex.

Young and Hunter settled the suit last month, and the settlement called for the sex tape to be destroyed.

Both Edwards and Hunter said there would be no conflict of interest, and Eagles said Duncan and Van Laningham could represent Edwards.

The judge also allowed Charlotte attorney Jim Cooney, who has represented Edwards since early in the federal investigation, to withdraw from the case.

28 Comments

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  • HyeAghcheg Mar 22, 10:31 a.m.

    I have no clue why she should be granted immunity for her testimony, because she's not his wife. If they subpoena her to testify, is she not required to do so and tell the truth? What a joke this entire fiasco is. If Edwards is guilty, the prosecutors should easily be able to prove it through documentation of the financial transactions involved. What bank accounts were used to transfer the funds? Just follow the money trail...

  • westernwake1 Mar 16, 12:22 p.m.

    So John Edwards has hired her defense lawyers, and now she has been granted immunity for testimony from the presecution.

    We know that this is all legal maneuvering by the Edwards team to land up with a mistrial situation.

    What a circus?

  • 5Rs Mar 16, 9:45 a.m.

    " . . . immunity from criminal charges for anything she says on the witness stand . . ." - article

    What would she say that would cause criminal charges?

    How about immunity for what she did during the past four years? Maybe that is what is meant.

    What she might have done: Receiving gifts that should have been reported as income but weren't, obstruction of justice by not being truthful, lots of possibilities.

  • josephlawrence43 Mar 16, 8:16 a.m.

    Wow--the gummit must not have anything resembling a good case here. Talk about fishing expedition.

  • AX MAN Mar 16, 8:04 a.m.

    One day I'd love to see that smile get wiped off his face !

  • jdupree Mar 15, 7:55 p.m.

    Don't hold your breath for the truth. Some people are incapable of telling it!

  • AX MAN Mar 15, 6:51 p.m.

    I say.....John Edwards for President. What an honorable and well respected man. He has all the qualification for the job.

  • judithfergerson Mar 15, 6:49 p.m.

    Let me see - why don't they do away with this dog and pony show and stop waiting the taxpayers money.

  • alwaysCool Mar 15, 5:58 p.m.

    None of this court case makes sense to me. They are planning on getting married. He has the same Lawyers that she was using and now she will not be charged for breaking the law. Man the rich sure do have it made$$$

  • unc70 Mar 15, 5:50 p.m.

    If it is a gift subject to gift taxes, then can not be a campaign donation, therefore no criminal charges.

    If not a gift, even though gift taxes paid, then subject to campaign matching funds.

    Really weak Fed case. Remember Fed prosecutor Jolding now running for Congress in 4th.

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