Defense rests without calling Edwards to the stand
Did the former presidential candidate's legal team make the right move?
- Duration 7:09
- Date May 16, 2012
Did the former presidential candidate's legal team make the right move?
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
First from fox at 3 o'clock in New York City lawyers for the former presidential candidate and senator John Edwards today rested their case.
They didn't call John Edwards didn't call -- daughter didn't call -- mistress.
In -- nearly three week trial prosecutors argued John Edwards knew that nearly one million dollars used to hide his pregnant mistress from voters and his dying wife.
During that 2008 run for the White House was indeed a campaign contribution that violated campaign finance laws that's from the prosecutors.
The jury heard testimony from the prosecution star witness one Andrew Young.
A former campaign aide who falsely claimed he was the father of John edwards' love child with rail hunter.
But John edwards' lawyers argued the money was a private gift and they -- -- Andrew Young is a self serving liar.
Who took most of the money to build his own dream home.
And while other testimony portrayed John Edwards is a cold hearted man who lied about cheating on his wife as she battled the cancer that eventually killed her.
No witness ever said that John Edwards knew he was violating cat campaign finance laws not one.
A key element of proving criminal intent which is needed for the conviction that could put John Edwards in prison.
For thirty years.
It's -- up story Jonathan series on it he's live at the courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina to do we know why.
This this this this lawyer John Edwards was always known as one -- would take a big gamble there was no gambled a day.
No no John Edwards no mistress -- no daughter.
And yet there really was no gamble here you know John Edwards defense team in less than three days laid out this very says -- case.
They had four very powerful witness that they -- that they were prepared.
To put on the stand the legal experts say edwards' lawyers had to evaluate.
Whether it really advance their case to bring these additional witnesses to the stand let's.
Obviously deliberated over night.
Did a risk reward calculation and decided they like the case where it was and it and the risk of putting on any of them outweighed the reward and therefore they decided to.
Called -- day and trying to this case the jury as quickly as they could.
And closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:15 tomorrow morning with the case going to the jury.
On Friday -- That you know this case rests on whether the money that went into hiding rail hunter the mistress in the love child.
Was a campaign contribution or private gift what's the sense on how the prosecution did and trying to plead its case.
-- -- the prosecution certainly was trying to -- established that these were.
Campaign donations the defense trying to show that they were private gifts.
The defense wasn't able to do this as directly as they would have liked this morning they tried to introduce.
But taped bit play a -- -- audiotape of Federal Election -- -- stating that the money.
That went into hiding edwards' mistress.
Did not fall under the FBC's definition of campaign contributions edwards' lead attorney Abbe Lowell argued.
Just because it doesn't help the government doesn't mean the government should see it prosecutors have been trying to block the tape.
We'll judge Catherine Eagles block the tape saying I don't think opinions that bothers whether they are FTC officials were not.
Are helpful to this jury now earlier judge Eagles had suggested that such opinions were better suited.
For the defense's closing arguments so this is probably not the last that we've heard of this may hear more of it tomorrow morning -- Jonathan -- the courthouse John thanks so much for this and all your coverage let's get the lawyers now.
The -- today a former prosecutor and Fox News legal analyst Arthur right -- on your left the criminal defense attorney -- -- and on the right -- we didn't get real hunter the mistress.
Which made me very sad because they sense that weird things about arms open here from work -- get John Edwards we didn't get John edwards' daughter Randi you've been saying.
All along he walks.
Didn't mean to didn't need to didn't need to you don't fix what ain't broke let's always remember the burden of proof always rests with the government John Edwards is presumed innocent.
He could have sat there during this trial with his feet up reading the -- page doesn't have to do.
And right here the government has not cannot and will never be able to prove that they all day but the all purpose of the money.
Was campaign contributions.
To save the campaign so he could still be president if -- dollar of that money according to the statute.
Went for personal purposes for a gift under the statute John Edwards must be equated.
-- I don't think they did it.
For -- -- but it was a classy move shepherd that being called the daughter I mean don't don't do that was a close it classy that they didn't call John Edwards in Tallahassee that they don't call.
Hunter -- -- that he couldn't caller what is liquidity following a wild wild card punctual and not just a lot of picture quality color crazy B -- as well and they knew they could never control are on the stand and putting him on the stand.
What -- The risk was worth the reward he's a trained professional.
He's used to controlling the temple he's used to controlling conversation it would be very difficult for him to sit there.
Yes even for grandeur ride to all of a sudden be wit me -- had the worst clock we make what witness and -- and witnesses because we it's just such an unnatural thing for us to do.
I don't know if they knew if they feel so -- -- gonna win shepherd or didn't they didn't think they can pull it off because it's very hard to.
But one thing we don't talk about here is these campaign finance laws have never been tested.
They've been on the books for awhile but they've never been tested in court this this is the first test and again they've been critical thing here it's basically two words.
How do we define the all purpose is really only one work.
How do we defined not does not mean that the only reason why this money came in and its sole purpose was only.
As campaign contributions.
As opposed to what the government is arguing.
Eight partners meeting take some of the money could have been for personal use -- been for gifts but we don't only have to show that.
There was no other reason for the money the -- can't do it it's that not -- Of the biggest hurdle for the prosecution is for them to be able to stand up in summation and -- ladies and gentlemen.
The fact that that -- shatters any reasonable doubt that John Edwards -- is.
Blank I don't know if they have.
It's that smoking gun they're doing more but connect the dots you look at this in the money went from there that young when he air and it whether he Nouri -- -- web known and if we applicant.
Most important part may yet to come not closing arguments which begin tomorrow morning quarter past nine.
But the charging of the jury the instructions for the jury will be key in this case -- you guys have both agreed on that yet it it.
This is the biggest flaw in my opinion in the in the legal system we go to school for years and years to learn these laws jurors get a 45 minute lecture here.
On what the law is and and go figure it out.
They're at least in the State of New York they're not allowed to bring any paperwork in -- -- regarding the law.
They're not allowed to bring the judge's charge you know let me go over this if they don't understand them they have asked the judge it's hardship -- it's hard thing -- -- -- they'll start with closing arguments tomorrow morning.
-- -- --