News

Edwards changes lawyers before criminal trial

Posted August 19, 2011 5:15 p.m. EDT

— Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made changes to his legal team two months before his trial is set to begin on campaign finance charges.

Former White House Counsel Gregory Craig and former Associate White House Counsel Cliff Sloan and attorney David Foster are no longer representing Edwards, according to court documents filed Friday. 

High-profile Washington D.C.-based white-collar defense attorney Abbe Lowell is joining Edwards' legal team, according to the documents. 

No reason was given for the change. 

A grand jury in June indicted Edwards on six felony charges related to money that was used to cover up his affair and child with Rielle Hunter, a videographer who chronicled his 2008 presidential campaign.

Federal prosecutors say Edwards accepted $900,000 in contributions from heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Texas banker Fred Barron – far above the legal limit – and filed filing false campaign finance reports to hide the donations.

Edwards has maintained that the contributions were gifts and didn't need to be reported. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.