State News

Closed-door meeting produces no word on status of Edwards trial

Posted January 6, 2012 7:39 a.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2012 4:36 p.m. EST

— An attorney for two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards met behind closed doors Friday with a federal judge and federal prosecutor, but there was no word on whether the judge would delay Edwards' trial on campaign finance charges.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued an order late Friday stating that the hearing would continue next Friday afternoon.

The meeting came a day after lawyers for the former U.S. senator from North Carolina sought to seal documents describing what they call Edwards' "confidential medical condition." The information contained in the filing has been provided to prosecutors, defense attorneys said.

Edwards' lawyers last month asked to delay the start of his Jan. 30 trial for at least two months, in part because they said Edwards has a medical condition that would make it difficult for him to attend the trial.

The start date of the trial has already been pushed back once after Edwards said he needed more time to prepare his defense and attend his daughter's wedding.

Defense attorney Jim Cooney declined to comment after the 30-minute meeting, and prosecutor Robert Higganbothan left the federal courthouse in Greensboro without commenting.

Prosecutors say they are ready to try Edwards on six felony and misdemeanor counts related to nearly $1 million from wealthy donors used to help hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 While House run.

Edwards, who didn't attend Friday's meeting, denies knowingly violating the law and has pleaded not guilty.