Local News

DA to decide whether ex-Edwards aide to face contempt charge

Posted June 8, 2012

— The Orange County district attorney will decide whether to charge a former aide to two-time presidential candidate John Edwards with contempt of court.

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan on Friday asked District Attorney Jim Woodall to investigate possible contempt charges against Andrew Young, his wife and the attorneys who defended him in a civil suit brought by Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Hunter sued the Youngs two years ago, seeking to recover personal items she said they took from a house she was renting in Chatham County in 2007. The items included a purported sex video she recorded with Edwards during his 2008 presidential campaign and photographs of him with their daughter.

The two sides settled the lawsuit in February, and all copies of the sex tape were to be destroyed.

During the course of the suit, however, Hunter's attorneys alleged that the Youngs violated a state court order by turning some information over to federal prosecutors, including a deposition that Edwards made in the case.

A Superior Court judge had ordered that much of the evidence in the lawsuit to remain sealed.

The Youngs and their attorneys maintained that they were only complying with a federal subpoena in the criminal case against Edwards.

A jury last week acquitted Edwards of one charge of accepting illegal campaign contributions, and a federal judge declared a mistrial on five other charges because jurors couldn't reach a verdict after nine days of deliberations.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Blaney Bluffs Lane Jun 13, 2012

    This shows how much power Edwards carries in the state judicial system. The same lawyers who brought these charges against the Youngs while representing Hunter switched to representing Edwards as soon as they settled the civil case. And they knew all of this confidential information. Smell a rat? The lawyers and the judges wasting time on this should be ashamed.

  • trekkie13 Jun 8, 2012

    Thw way I see it is this if the Youngs were faithfully complying with a federal subpoena then the state really has no case but if the Youngs gave evidence that was ordered destroyed or sealed not on the subpoena or required by federal investigators then the state has a case.

  • ladyblue Jun 8, 2012

    thanks for explaining but I still don't care..Enough tax dollars have been wasted on John edwards or anything associated to that case.. let it go leave it be.. I guess some also figure if Eric holder can ignore congress then anyone can ignore anyone else...

  • trekkie13 Jun 8, 2012

    One last thing it should be noted that if the federal investigators really did not need that evidence then that is for a United States judge to decide. In fact that is the second motion from the Edwards attorneys that according to the news that the US District Judge is considering. However, the Young's if faithfully complying with a federal subpoena were only doing what they were mandated to do by the federal subpoena. Lastly, I am neither for Edwards or the Young's as far as sides. I am not sure who to believe.

  • UNCfuturealumi Jun 8, 2012

    Sock it to them both.

  • trekkie13 Jun 8, 2012

    doesanyonecare stated: "STOP WaSTING MOney. enough is enough. get on with other matters now."

    The problem is that if the subpoena specifically ordered turnover of substance and documentation that was ordered sealed or destroyed by a state judge then the Young's are still in the lawful right. The Young's could have been found guilty of violating a federal subpoena had they refused to turn it over. Only a federal judge or the agency could have done away with the requirements of the subpoena. What did the state expect the Young's to do just ignore the subpoena. The state could not have protected the Young's from probable prosecution there because the federal government is the more powerful sovereign than the state. IMHO, if the Young's were charged then they would likely win in federal court easily.

  • ladyblue Jun 8, 2012

    STOP WaSTING MOney. enough is enough. get on with other matters now.

  • trekkie13 Jun 8, 2012

    If the Young's were faithfully complying with a valid federal subpoena then the law is on their side. The lawful investigation of a federal agency takes precedence over even the order of a state superior court judge. The federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the Supremacy Clause is what gives the federal government the trump card when the state and federal government directly conflict. I don't understand why the federal government has not pointed this out to the NC state judicial system in this case. In fact, the state maybe trying to prosecute the Young's for fully and lawfully complying with a federal subpoena could be federal obstruction of justice. It needs to be stated that federal officials performing their federal duties are not under the orders or the authority of a state court system. Only a federal court can give a lawful order to a federal agency as far as the judicial system is concerned.