Contempt hearing for ex-Edwards aide postponed
Posted January 30, 2012
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — An Orange County judge has postponed a hearing into whether a former aide to two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards should be held in contempt.
Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan said Monday that he needed to appoint a prosecutor to handle the criminal portion of the case, which grew out of a civil suit filed by Edwards' former mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Hunter has sued Andrew Young and his wife, seeking to recover personal items she said they took from a house she was renting in Chatham County in 2007. The items include a purported sex tape she recorded with Edwards during his 2008 presidential campaign.
The Youngs and their lawyers could face jail time for providing confidential documents from the case to federal officials prosecuting Edwards.
Transcripts of a deposition Edwards gave in the civil case and other sensitive documents were placed under seal in state court. But lawyers for the Youngs later admitted providing that sealed evidence to federal criminal investigators, saying they were complying with a secret federal subpoena.
Hardy Lewis, an attorney representing the Youngs and their attorneys, said the Youngs did nothing wrong. Instead, he said, they were simply following the advice of their attorneys, who had to make a difficult decision.
"We don't really look to our clients for guidance on how to deal with that. These lawyers in this case did not ask the Youngs how to respond to a federal court order. The Youngs had nothing to do with that," Lewis said.
Edwards has been charged with six felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the use of nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors to conceal his affair and child with Hunter. His trial had been set to begin Monday, but it has been delayed for at least two months because of his health.