Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jury to begin deliberations in John Edwards corruption trial

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Attorneys hammered at the credibility of John Edwards and his once-trusted aide as arguments in his campaign corruption trial ended Thursday, leaving jurors to decide if the presidential candidate's sex scandal cover-up amounted to a crime or a litany of lies.

Jurors begin deliberations today on six counts of campaign finance fraud that could send Edwards to prison for up to 30 years.

They will weigh whether to believe Edwards' arguments that he didn't knowingly break the law when he sought to cover up an affair with his pregnant mistress, or his aide, Andrew Young, who said Edwards recruited him to use secret donations from wealthy donor to hide the affair.

In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Bobby Higdon recounted Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter and said the candidate would "deny, deceive and manipulate" at every turn to keep the revelation from destroying his political career.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell said prosecutors didn't prove that Edwards knew that taking the money violated the law and said the 2008 candidate shouldn't be convicted just for being a liar.

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