RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – John Edwards’ campaign finance fraud case ended in a mistrial Thursday when jurors acquitted him on one of six charges but were unable to decide whether he misused money from two wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress while he ran for president.
Q: WHAT WAS REVEALED IN THE TRIAL?
A: The trial exposed a sordid sex scandal that unfolded while Edwards’ wife was dying of cancer, but prosecutors couldn’t convince jurors that the ex-U.S. senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate masterminded a $1 million cover-up of his affair.
Q: WHAT CHARGE DID JURORS FIND HIM NOT GUILTY?
A: Jurors acquitted him on a charge of accepting illegal campaign contributions, involving $375,000 from elderly heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in 2008. He had also been charged with illegally accepting $350,000 from Mellon in 2007, other donations from wealthy Texas attorney Fred Baron, filing a false campaign finance report and conspiracy.
Q: WHAT DID THE JURORS SAY?
A: The jurors, who deliberated nine days, did not talk to the media as they left the courthouse.
Q: WILL THERE BE A RETRIAL?
A: Although prosecutors did not immediately comment on whether they would seek to retry Edwards, a knowledgeable law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday that it’s unlikely the Justice Department will retry Edwards.
Q: DID EDWARDS SAY ANYTHING?
A: Edwards said from the courthouse steps: “While I do not believe I did anything illegal, or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins.”
He also choked up when talking about the daughter he had with mistress Rielle Hunter. He called Frances Quinn Hunter precious “whom I love, more than any of you can ever imagine and I am so close to and so, so grateful for. I am grateful for all of my children.”
Q: WHAT’S NEXT FOR EDWARDS?
A: After the trial, Edwards said: “I don’t think God’s through with me. I really believe he thinks there’s still some good things I can do.” He alluded to his goal to help poor kids in the U.S. and around the world.
Q: WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MOST DRAMATIC MOMENTS IN THE TRIAL?
A: During emotional testimony that saw Edwards’ 30-year-old daughter flee the courtroom in tears, former campaign advisor Christina Reynolds recounted an October 2007 fight at a Raleigh airport where an enraged Elizabeth Edwards confronted her husband about his affair, ripping open her shirt and baring her chest.
Former aide Andrew Young testified that when Edwards learned Hunter was pregnant, his first reaction was to express doubt he was the father and call his mistress a “crazy slut.”
Young also described his climactic last meeting with Edwards in August 2008 on a secluded road near the former senator’s Chapel Hill mansion. Young said Edwards was nervous and acting so paranoid the aide feared his boss had hired men to shoot him.
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