Former Aide Grabs Spotlight in Edwards Trial

Former aide improperly spoke to other witnesses
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2012 5:45 PM CDT
Edwards Trial Opens With Spotlight on Ex-Aide
Andrew Young, former aide to former U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate John Edwards, leaves federal court with attorney David Geneson, right, in Greensboro, NC, Monday, April 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A former campaign aide took center stage in the first day of John Edwards' campaign finance trial today, Reuters reports. During opening statements in Greensboro, North Carolina, Edwards' attorneys said the nearly $1 million Edwards is accused of accepting in illegal funds actually went toward a $1.5 million house for Andrew Young, now a key witness for the prosecution. "Since he can no longer make money being for John Edwards, he wants to make money being against him," a defense attorney said. "Follow the money and find the truth."

In a bizarre twist, Judge Catherine Eagles said Young may have violated federal law by calling three other witnesses over the last two weeks, the AP reports. Eagles ruled that Edwards' lawyers could refer to Young's conduct but not use the phrase "witness tampering"—or mention Young's one-stand with another witness. Young's involvement in the case runs deep, for he once claimed paternity of Edwards' child with Rielle Hunter, then wrote a nasty tell-all about Edwards, and wrangled with Hunter over ownership of a sex tape with her and Edwards. (Luckily for us, they settled and the tape was destroyed.)

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