Former John Edwards aide testifies during first day of trial
The prosecution in John Edwards' campaign finance trial put its star witness on the stand Monday. Edwards faces six felony charges of violating federal campaign finance law and faces a potential 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine if convicted on all charges. YNN's Ed Scannell reports.
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The prosecution in John Edwards' campaign finance trial put its star witness on the stand on Monday. Prosecutor David Harbach questioned Andrew Young about his relationship with John Edwards, how he came to know him and eventually work for him. And before the end of the court day, Young testified that Edwards told him to follow up with Rachel Bunny Mellon about a potential $1 million donation and eventually arranged a meeting between Edwards and Mellon to discuss how she might help his presidential bid.
Edwards is charged with conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and with accepting and receiving more than $900,000 in illegal campaign donations from Mellon and Fred Baron, his then campaign finance manager, in 2007 and 2008.
During his opening statement, Harbach said the donations were meant to conceal Edwards' extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter to protect his candidacy.
Defense attorney Allison Van Laningham told jurors that neither Edwards nor his campaign committee received the donations - not a penny, she said.
Van Laningham said the money was personal, not political, and that Edwards' only motive was to conceal the affair to spare his ailing wife and his family humiliation.