Court allows John Edwards to hire mistress’s lawyers
GREENSBORO | Former presidential candidate John Edwards got his wish Thursday and is changing his defense team ahead of his criminal trial on charges of campaign-finance violations, hiring the same attorneys who once helped his mistress in a lawsuit over the couple’s purported sex tape.
The former U.S. senator from North Carolina testified under oath that he understood a jury might puzzle over the fact that lawyers Alan Duncan and Allison Van Laningham would be representing him after previously representing his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Mr. Edwards faces charges that he broke federal campaign-finance laws, allegedly using nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors to hide the pregnant mistress and prevent a scandal from erupting as he campaigned for the White House in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty.
U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles told Mr. Edwards that shaking up his defense team was likely causing him stress, something the former senator’s doctor said, in a private letter to the judge, Mr. Edwards should avoid to protect his health. The judge asked Mr. Edwards whether he was taking any narcotics or other medications that might fog his judgment before trial. for the beliefs of my neighbors,” said the 69-year-old lawmaker, who lives on a houseboat while in Washington.
He joins 23 other Democrats and 16 Republicans not seeking re-election.
Mr. Ackerman is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has been outspoken on several global issues, including U.S. support for Israel and the threat it faces from Iran. Prior to his tenure in the House, he served as a New York state senator.