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The onetime presidential candidate John Edwards appeared today inside -- North Carolina courtroom for the start of his criminal trial.
John Edwards is accused of using close to a million dollars in campaign cash.
To cover up an affair with his mistress rail hunter during his 2008 White House -- He later admitted that he fathered a child with her while his wife Elizabeth was battling cancer.
But the former senator denies knowing anything about the cash payments which reportedly paid for flights hotel rooms and rail -- medical care.
Prosecutors claim John Edwards use the money to protect his image as a family man and to keep his campaign afloat.
It's the top story at the bottom of the hour and Jonathan series -- -- outside the courthouse in Greensboro.
Jonathan what is the prosecution.
Have to prove here.
Bottom line prosecutors have to prove that Edwards at.
Actions violated federal campaign finance law during the 2008 election cycle there was a 2300 dollar -- -- on individual campaign contributions.
Prosecutors have to prove Edwards use the million dollars from two donors to protect his campaign.
Not just his family in other words the issue was not whether sleaze occurred but whether the sleaze was illegal under what up to this point has been.
A fairly broad definition of campaign contributions -- Who's expected to testify here Jonathan.
A real hunter is expected to testify on behalf of the defense the prosecution expected to call former Edwards aide Andrew Young who helped concealed.
Edwards pregnant mistress initially claiming that he was the father of the child it's unclear whether John Edwards himself will testify.
On its own behalf -- I think it's pretty likely that he'll he'll testify that they that the defense hasn't said but it would be a lost opportunity we weren't able to testify easily communicate or and he.
You know should be able to you know.
Give that a shot in -- -- of this jury.
And the judge has instructed attorneys to submit their final witness list by the end of the day so we should know some more.
A little later shot this area outside the courthouse Jonathan thank you -- take -- to the legal panel -- don't -- prosecutors are changed after movements during -- so we're back with us.
You know one of the risks here.
Is that the defense ends up.
Defending John Edwards against scumbag Hillary.
And he's not really charged with -- Bagger -- he -- admit this is about something else but to get a jury to focus on the something else mr.
defense attorney might might be very difficult.
Absolutely have to get the word you used out jury selection there's a lot of thorny touchy issues with John Edwards as an individual.
He's filthy rich person has tons and millions of dolls that none of us will retain -- -- He's a personal injury plaintiffs' attorney.
Has its own sort of negative connotation he's very politically active he cheated on his wife these are all issues that you have to confront the jury with early on.
Two separate John Edwards the individual and John Edwards the defendant -- this criminal case and if you're successful in doing that I think this prosecution can safely go away.
If you're prosecuting this -- a lot to work -- Struck me as you just -- one by one by one why this man is really not going to be like but I think you know when you step back and look at -- the prosecution.
And the defense -- have a hard time finding that this -- be a fair jury here because.
Both sides have their you know that the deficits and you're looking at somebody's -- they're trying to apply a law -- find federal finance campaign laws.
They're complicated -- abroad it's hard to apply and it's hard to say here's the facts he is the law now convict this guy.
And keep your emotions a what you think in this defend that all those things are very difficult so for the now prosecuted to stand up and the Defense Secretary to stand up and say.
Tell me what you know are you telling me the truth and I'm trying to find if injury is going to be really difficult.
-- and it's a key.
Here the O'Keefe.
Is is what this money was was this money -- campaign donation or was this money a personal gift and the defense wants the court to believe it was a personal gift.
When you look at the statute -- -- charged with and the facts of the case I'm confident the case will go where they have to prove two things number one -- wasn't -- -- -- was in fact a donation.
He said all along that this was a -- secondly he has to knowingly violate the statute.
Will you knew unique in the election -- that that's a component of as well when you look at the evidence that the prosecution has their store witness is an admitted -- he's the one came out and cover for Johnson it's my child.
Then he went and published a book and profited handsomely from this controversy that he has created.
-- if you're a prosecutor in your star witness write the book before we're talking about this in the commercial break it is not the best situation and it's horrible and you can you really impressed that I'm sure that there.
-- found out that piece of information -- the book is now being published a -- went ballistic when you know what.
What what we got in on the case is just completely turned around as we have all our star witness has now put everything in a book that can be used against him and that's and and really not playing well John Edwards or I'm -- I'm John Edwards on trials you know this goes thanks guys the economy now and.
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