John Edwards Trial

Megan Proulx

John Edwards, the popular politician who was known for assembling voters with his Populist mantra and idea of two Americas, was aquitted in the trial that tried him for soliciting illegal campaign money to cover up his affair with a woman while his wife Elizabeth suffered incurable cancer.

As a very popular lawyer, Edwards could very well have been the president. With Obama and Clinton being the candidates he would face, he personally felt he was a very strong, experienced and safe bid for nominee.

Edwards’s trial took place on Thursday, which ended in aquittal and mistrial. Edwards stood outside the court house in front of news cameras apologizing for his “sins”. His daughter (of former marriage) Cate and his parents stood with him everyday of the trial. After the four week trial, and more than 50 hours of deliberation the jury cleared him of six counts of collecting illegal campaign money (totaling more than $1,000,000) to keep his mistress, Reille Hunter, under wraps.

Edwards missed the ticket to run for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008. After meeting Hunter in 2006, Edwards was seen engaging in flirtatious banter on camera, and after heated arguments with his co-workers about seeing Hunter, Edwards had fired John Brumberger (Edwards’ cheif of staff).

In 2007, the start of campaigning for the 2008 election (for Edwards it began in New Orleans), Elizabeth Edwards announced being diagnosed with incurable cancer. Edwards continued with his campaign, ahead of Clinton and Obama. Hunter became pregnant during this time, and Edwards began accepting illegal campaign money from Rachel Mellon (banking heiress).

In 2010, Elizabeth past away of breast cancer, and Edwards was indicted on June 3rd, 2011, after the US Dept of Justice had opened a case investigating illegal finances in February 2009. Edwards refused a plea bargain that would have given him only a few month in prison and allowed him to keep his law license.