National News

Defense: Young has vendetta against Edwards

Posted March 26, 2012

— Prosecutors on Monday asked the federal judge overseeing the upcoming criminal trial of John Edwards to limit how much jurors can be told about the legal fight over a sex tape featuring the former presidential candidate.

Both sides agreed at a pre-trial hearing that the video made by Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter should not be shown to jurors deciding whether the Democrat is guilty of campaign finance violations.

However, Edwards' defense team argued they should be free to question former campaign aide Andrew Young about inconsistent testimony he gave after Hunter sued him in state court to regain possession of the tape. The attorneys hope to use that testimony to undercut his credibility.

Young, who initially claimed paternity of the child Edwards fathered with Hunter, helped hide the pregnant mistress from the public during the 2008 presidential primary. He is now expected to be a key witness against his former boss.

The $900,000 secretly paid by two wealthy campaign donors to care for Hunter is at the heart of the six criminal counts against Edwards. He has pleaded not guilty, and jury selection for his trial is set to begin April 12.

Hunter sued Young and his wife in 2010 over control of the sex tape, which had been left at a property controlled by Young. He found the tape and later described it in a bestselling memoir.

During the resulting court fight, Young gave sometimes conflicting accounts of how many copies he made of the tape and how many people saw it.

A state judge found the Youngs in contempt of court for not following his orders to turn over all copies of the tape, though the contempt threat was dropped once the Youngs complied.

Prosecutors pointed out that the judge never said Young lied, and they argued that allowing statements to suggest such would only confuse the jury.

John Edwards investigation graphic Edwards' lawyers seek leeway in questioning former aide

They asked that U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles strictly limit what can be said about the sex tape case during Edwards' criminal trial. To do otherwise, they argued, could allow Edwards' lawyers to launch a "trial within a trial" strategy, using issues involving the sex tape to unfairly attack the government's witness.

Edwards' defense team said they believe Young has a bias and a vendetta against Edwards, and they want to prove that during trial.

Eagles did not indicate when she might rule on the issue.

Hunter and Young agreed to a civil settlement last month that requires all copies of the sex tape in possession of the North Carolina court to be destroyed. However, it has been suggested in court documents that Young previously gave a copy of the tape to federal investigators.

Prosecutors reaffirmed Monday that they have no intention of playing the tape in court, but suggested they may have to describe contents of the tape to jurors if defense attorneys question Young about testimony in the civil case.

That presents a dilemma for Edwards' defense team, if the potential damage to Young's credibility outweighs the possible harm to Edwards in describing the tape to jurors. Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, was dying of cancer when the tape was made.


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  • wildpig777 Mar 27, 2012

    when i look at andrew young or i look at john edwards I FEEL I NEED TO GO TAKE A SHOWER.. I'D JAIL BOTH OF THEM IMMEDIATELY IF NOT SOONER......and these 2 jokers actually thought they could occupy the white house? THIS IS NATIONAL POLITTCS BOYS --NOT THE NORMAL RUN O THE MILL NC POLITICS......i reckon yall know that now...

  • MonkeyFace Mar 27, 2012

    "Where can I buy a copy of the tape? I'd love to see the presidental candidate in action !!!!!!
    AX MAN"
    -----ewww....*puke* I hope that was a joke

  • Retired07 Mar 26, 2012

    ENOUGH ALREADY! Go take up your well deserved place in history next to Mike Easley, Jim Black, Bev Perdue, Meg Scott Phipps, oh heck the list is endless. Wonder how close we could come to balancing the budget with what these career crooks have swindled taxpayers out of?

  • AX MAN Mar 26, 2012

    Where can I buy a copy of the tape? I'd love to see the presidental candidate in action !!!!!!

  • msfogle Mar 26, 2012

    As far as I'm concerned, Young is as much a low life as Edwards. He and his wife have no credibility. I'm really tire of reading about this mess.

  • coachjim44 Mar 26, 2012

    All of North Carolina should have a vendetta against Edwards!

  • unc70 Mar 26, 2012

    All sorts of different conflicts here. Remember that this case was brought by Republican Federal procecutor Holding who was held over in that office by the Obama admin while this case was still pending and being investigated. For three years, it remained "pending" until just before Holding resigned in order to run for U.S. Congress this year.

    Also, Holding's mentor was appointed by George W Bush as a Federal judge, but Senator Edwards was one of those who blocked his confirmation by the Senate. Any biases there by Holding?

  • Spongebob Mar 26, 2012

    Can't wait for the movie!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Mar 26, 2012

    "Edwards' defense team said they believe Young has a bias and a vendetta against Edwards, and they want to prove that during trial."

    Sure he does, Edwards forced him to take responsibility for Edwards love child with Reile. Then Edwards pushed him under the bus blaming everything on him when Edwards political started falling apart.

    If I was Young, I would have a BIAS and vendetta against Edwards as well.

  • sunshine1040 Mar 26, 2012

    If Edwards was that worried about a tape he could have not recorded the fact that he was cheating or he could have taken the tape home with him. But then his wife that he lied to and cheated on or his children might have found it. The better option would have been to get a divorce first then it would not have been cheating =. Thank goodness there was nho gay rights amendment at that time that said one man + one woman= marriage.he would have been in jail for breaking the law already