John Edwards’ Defense Rests
The defense team for John Edwards rested its case on Wednesday without calling his former mistress or the two-time presidential candidate to testify. By not calling the two witnesses, the defense shows its confidence after just two days of evidence and testimony. The defense team called a number of witnesses that were aimed at moving the jury focus off the lurid details of the sex scandal to the legal matter of whether the actions by Edwards violated federal laws that regulate campaign finance.
Prosecutors spent close to three weeks attempting to convince jurors that a conspiracy was masterminded by Edwards to use over $1 million of secretly funded money from two wealthy donors to aid in hiding Rielle Hunter his mistress, who was pregnant at the time, as he sought to win the White House in 2008.
A number of observers thought Edwards would testify so the jurors would be able to listen to the former trial lawyer and U.S. Senator. However, putting him on the stand, created a gamble, as he would have been exposed to lengthy cross-examination about he lies and problems with his marriage.
Legal experts said if Hunter would have testified it would have caused more negatives to be dredged up, so the defense decided to not call either witness. Edwards’ eldest daughter, Cate, who has been behind Edwards in the courtroom nearly every day, also was not called to testify.
The judge instructed the jury that no other witnesses were to be called, but did not give a time that closing arguments would begin.