The prosecution's star witness in the corruption trial of former Senator and democratic presidential candidate John Edwards testified Tuesday about Edward's efforts to hide an extramarital affair, The New York Times reports.
Today was former aide Andrew Young's second day on the stand at Edward's criminal trial. John Edwards pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts related to campaign finance violations from his 2008 presidential campaign, CBS News reports.
Young testified Tuesday that Mr. Edwards used a "successful musician to support his mistress," The Washington Post reports.
In 2007, Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, threatened to go to the media and expose the affair. According to The NY Times, , Young testified that he and Mr. Edwards brainstormed about who could provide enough money to support and essentially "pay off" Ms. Hunter.
Mr. Young said that he and Mr. Edwards considered asking Edward's best friend, Fred Baron and his ex-law partner, David Kriby for money, but that the two finally settled on the now 101 year old heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, CBS News reports.
Mellon had donated generously to Edwards' campaign. Young testified that he and Mr. Edwards told "Bunny" that the money would be used as a "non-campaign" expense, but did not divulge any further details.
According to the NY Times, Andrew Young's wife, Cheri was also involved in the plan.
Miss Mellon would send checks to a friend named Bryan Huffman. Bryan would sign the checks over to Andrew, and Andrew's wife Cheri would deposit the checks into the family account,
"We were scared," Young said Tuesday. "It was a truckload of money. More money than had ever flowed through our accounts. It was crazy."
Young said he had expressed concerns to Mr. Edwards that they were violating various finance laws, but that Mr. Edwards told him everything they were doing was legal.
Mr. Young testified that the whole thing "felt and smelled wrong," but that since Edwards, a former trial lawyer, "knew more about the law" than he did, he felt he had no real choice other than to believe him.
In 2010, Young published a book detailing the affair, The Washington Post reports.
By testifying, Young was granted immunity for his part in the scandal.
In June of 2007, Rielle Hunter told John Edwards she was pregnant, Mr. Young testified Tuesday.
According to CBS News, Young said Mr. Edwards called him and told him to "take care of it."
"He said she was a crazy slut and that there was a 1 in 3 chance it was his," Young said on the stand Tuesday.
Young also said that in December, 2007, Edwards suggested he should pretend he (Young) was indeed the baby;'s father.
The prosecution is seeking to prove that Edwards knew about the illegal use of money. The defense has countered that the whole thing is nothing but a scam by Mr. and Mrs. Young to get money from Mrs. Mellon to build a house in Chapel Hill, The New York Times reports.
If Edwards is convicted on all 6 counts he is charged with, the 58 year old faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.