1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
3 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Criminal Action
6 vs. Greensboro, North Carolina
7 JOHNNY REID EDWARDS, May 17, 2012
11 TRANSCRIPT OF JURY TRIAL PROCEEDINGS
12 (CLOSING ARGUMENTS)
13 BEFORE THE HONORABLE CATHERINE C. EAGLES
14 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
16 For the Government: ROBERT J. HIGDON, ESQUIRE
BRIAN SCOTT MEYERS, ESQUIRE
17 Assistant United States Attorneys
Eastern District of North Carolina
18 310 New Bern Avenue, Suite 800
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-1461
20 DAVID V. HARBACH, ESQUIRE
JEFFREY E. TSAI, ESQUIRE
21 United States Department of Justice
Public Integrity Section
22 1400 New York Avenue N.W., Suite 1800
Washington, DC 20005
25 Proceedings reported by stenotype reporter.
Transcript produced by computer-aided transcription.
2 For the Defendant: ABBE DAVID LOWELL, ESQUIRE
Chadbourne & Parke, LLP
3 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
5 ALLISON O. VAN LANINGHAM, ESQUIRE
ALAN W. DUNCAN, ESQUIRE
6 Post Office Box 21927
Greensboro, North Carolina 27420
10 Court Reporter: J. Calhoun, RPR
Room 101, U.S. Courthouse Building
11 324 West Market Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
12 (336) 332-6033
1 P R O C E E D I N G S
2 (The Defendant was present.)
3 THE COURT: Okay. So the clerk had several little
4 things here to take up with you all before we have the
5 closing arguments. I'd like to start with the suggested
6 change to the verdict sheet that the government has
7 presented, which I believe is also addressed in the
8 defendant's objections to the jury instructions which they
9 filed some time earlier today.
10 So the dispute -- apparently, everybody agrees I
11 need to submit special interrogatories about the conspiracy.
12 That's what it looked like to me. People are nodding at the
13 government's table and at the defense table. Okay. So I
14 can do that. And the dispute is whether it should be a
15 special interrogatory -- two special interrogatories or
16 three special interrogatories, basically. Contributions
17 from Rachel Mellon or Fred Baron in one or whether I need to
18 split that up into two. That's kind of how I understand the
19 dispute. So who is speaking on this for the government?
20 MR. TSAI: I will, Judge. The instruction that
21 the government has requested, I think, encapsulates exactly
22 what the issue that the jury needs to decide is, which is
23 being unanimous on the verdict as to both -- one or the
24 other of the objects of the conspiracy, or obviously both.
25 The Court already has a unanimity instruction
1 under the conspiracy count, and it's exactly right. It
2 indicates that the jury has to be unanimous on the specific
3 object. So that part of the instruction is correct, we
4 think, Judge. There is no additional language that's
5 necessary --
6 THE COURT: There is no additional what?
7 MR. TSAI: Language that's required that the
8 defense has suggested on page 16 of their brief. It
9 provides more words on paper, but no more substance, Judge.
10 The Court's current instruction as it stands in that regard
11 is correct on unanimity. As to --
12 THE COURT: Has -- go ahead.
13 MR. TSAI: As to the verdict form itself, the
14 reason only two special interrogatories is necessary as
15 opposed to, I think, four that the defense has requested is
16 because there are only two objects of the conspiracy. The
17 first object of the conspiracy was the acceptance and
18 receipt of illegal campaign contributions for Mrs. Mellon or
19 Mr. Baron. So the jury need only find that object of the
20 conspiracy unanimously, and the same applies to the filing
21 or the concealment of the material fact under Count Six.
22 I think the crux of the dispute is that what the
23 defense is suggesting is that the Court split it up both as
24 to Mrs. Mellon and Mr. Baron. The reason why that's not
25 necessary and isn't correct, as a legal matter, is because
1 those are not separate objects of the conspiracy. In other
2 words, there's not an object on Mrs. Mellon, and there's not
3 an object separately on Mr. Baron.
4 It would be no different than, Judge, by
5 comparison, to a conspiracy under the drug statutes to
6 violate the drug statutes as to marijuana and to -- as to
7 crack cocaine, for example. The jury need not decide
8 separate objects as to both because it's a violation of the
9 same statute. For that reason, the Court need not then
10 split it up into different questions as to each individual.
11 And then the final point I'll note is that the
12 government's also not required to prove conspiracy by
13 special interrogatories as to each conspirator. So as a
14 result, in any given case, including a campaign finance
15 case, the government would not be required to prove a
16 conspiracy as to Mrs. Mellon and then separately a
17 conspiracy as to Mr. Baron. It could prove a conspiracy;
18 and as long as the jury agrees on the object, that's
19 sufficient for unanimity, and that's what this topic
21 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. Mr. Duncan?
22 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, let me start with the
23 second thing first which is the objects of the conspiracy.
24 As the indictment was prepared and made against Mr. Edwards,
25 the government at that time chose to break it between
1 Ms. Mellon and Mr. Baron in terms of the indictment charges,
2 and so we thought that would be the appropriate way to set
3 out the questions to the jury.
4 Equally as important, if not more important,
5 honestly, Your Honor, from our standpoint is it would be
6 very necessary for the jury to know that it would be
7 required to have a unanimous finding as to whatever number
8 of questions or special interrogatories Your Honor decides
9 to put there. Otherwise, you have the risk that you may
10 have eight jurors decide on one and four on another, and you
11 don't really have unanimity as to all, but you may have had
12 unanimity collectively between different special
13 interrogatories; and I know that, under the law, is
14 something that courts take particular care to avoid. So
15 that's why we raised that particular issue.
16 Also, I want to say, Your Honor, with respect to
17 the other filing that we made, in looking at the --
18 THE COURT: Are you speaking beyond the special
20 MR. DUNCAN: I was only going to say one sentence
21 about it --
22 THE COURT: Okay.
23 MR. DUNCAN: -- Your Honor. I was simply going to
24 say in looking at the Fourth Circuit law, we saw it
25 required, even if we had raised things before, that it was
1 necessary after the conference to raise it in a separate
2 pleading. So we understand the Court's worked hard on these
3 issues, but we felt we simply needed to do that in that
5 THE COURT: I'm not offended. I have very thick
7 MR. DUNCAN: I know, Your Honor, but I thought it
8 was necessary if we looked at the law to explain why we felt
9 it was necessary to do that.
10 THE COURT: That's absolutely fine. I hope I've
11 given you all every opportunity to make your record.
12 MR. DUNCAN: As Your Honor said, given that it was
13 an early morning this hour, I would have been delighted if
14 the law had not been that way, and we could have simply
15 stood on the earlier.
16 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. All right.
17 I'll include the government's special interrogatories. If
18 you all will give me a second to confer with the clerk.
19 (Discussion between the Court and clerk.)
20 THE COURT: I was just discussing the logistics
21 with the clerk. It's my practice, which I don't think I
22 told you all, but if you had asked anybody, you would have
23 known, to give the jurors copies of the verdict sheet --
24 their own copy of the verdict sheet to have in front of them
25 while you all argue the case to them because I think that's
1 helpful to them. So any time there's more than a couple of
2 issues, I usually do that. So I'm going to try to get that
3 process moving along while we're finishing up on the jury
5 On the jury instructions -- we're all coughing
6 this morning -- I did read through the defendant's
7 objections just to be sure there was nothing there that was
8 new or that I had not focused on. So on the copy of the
9 charge that I gave you last night, the revised one, on
10 page 10 on the fourth line where it says "received the
11 money, gift, or payment, I will change that to
12 "contribution." I think that was a fair comment the defense
14 The other places they objected to the word "money"
15 was where I was actually defining what a contribution was,
16 so I'm not going to change it there because that ends up
17 with me saying a contribution is a contribution. But this
18 one I wasn't defining "contribution," so I will change it
20 On page 12, in the summary language for Count Two
21 where it says, "Mr. Edwards knowingly and wilfully accepted
22 or received or wilfully caused another," you know, as I
23 perceive it, the defendants objected to not having
24 "knowingly" there. But, you know, "wilfully caused" is the
25 language of 2(b), but it -- it incorporates -- you know,
1 it's a higher standard than "knowingly," so I just -- I'm
2 happy to add "knowingly" in there as well, and that would be
3 the case on two through five, to add "knowingly" in on that.
4 And the only other change is a more grammatical
5 one on page 3, next to last line, where it says this is so
6 even if the expenditure "would have been" for an expense, I
7 just -- I'm going to change that to "was" in the interest of
9 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, I'm sorry. Could you
10 direct --
11 THE COURT: Pardon me; I'm so sorry.
12 MR. DUNCAN: I'm sorry. I stood up at an
13 inopportune time. Can you direct me again to where on that
15 THE COURT: Page 23, the next to the last line.
16 MR. DUNCAN: Thank you, Your Honor.
17 THE COURT: This is so even if the expenditure
18 "would have been," changing that to "was."
19 And then let me see if there was anything else I
20 forgot to say. I did -- I appreciated the discussion about
21 personal use and the objections filed this morning, but this
22 is not a -- the defendant's not charged with violating
23 439(a), and I think it is not appropriate to instruct them
24 on the law on 439(a) when he's not charged with violating
25 that statute, among other reasons. Otherwise, I think I'll
1 overrule the defendant's objections in that document.
2 All right. Now, the question of the defendant's
3 theory of the case -- madam clerk, here's Mr. Lowell's
4 handwritten document which I took last night, but you can
5 take for the file.
6 Did the defendant have any comment on the way the
7 government reworded the theory?
8 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, suffice it to say we
9 prefer our wording. It also -- it's substantively, and I
10 haven't tried to do it -- very quickly, having just got it a
11 short time ago, tried to do a comparison. It does seem to
12 leave out the knowledge issue, and I think our -- I don't
13 think our wording is doing anything beyond setting out what
14 the contentions are, and we believe it's appropriate that we
15 ought to be able to word what our contentions are, even if
16 the government was able to do that in the indictment.
17 The other issue is that it says -- in the
18 government's version, it just says he "claims" as opposed to
19 "contends," which other places, even in the government's
20 version, it says "contends" rather than "claims." So I
21 point that out not because I think that's the preferred
22 approach, but just a matter of consistency and proper use --
23 what we believe would be the proper use of words. Your
24 Honor, we consistently sought to use the word "contends"
25 because that's the appropriate thing to put in this type of
2 THE COURT: Can I ask you about the way one -- one
3 thing you worded your contention?
4 MR. DUNCAN: Yes, Your Honor.
5 THE COURT: He contends the payments made by
6 Mrs. Mellon and Mr. Baron were not campaign contributions,
7 nor covered by the Federal Election Campaign Act -- and
8 here's my question -- and it would be a good faith belief
9 for him to have concluded that.
10 You can't have a hypothetical good faith belief,
11 so -- right? I mean, you either have it, or you didn't have
12 it. I mean, you can't hypothetically have it.
13 MR. DUNCAN: We don't mind using the word
14 "reasonable" there as opposed to good faith belief, Your
16 THE COURT: That he had a good faith belief. I
17 mean, that kind of assumes he believed it. I mean, that
18 assumes he knew all about it, which I under -- I mean, it's
19 a little hard for me to understand how -- understand that
20 contention because it admits knowledge almost.
21 MR. DUNCAN: The word "had" would be fine, Your
22 Honor, instead of "it would be."
23 THE COURT: Okay. "He had"?
24 MR. DUNCAN: Yes, Your Honor. And I apologize. I
25 think I focused in on the wrong concern at first that Your
1 Honor was raising.
2 THE COURT: That's all right. Okay. Well, I
3 don't know that I have to give this. I think I've covered
4 all of this in my instructions elsewhere. On the other
5 hand, it's not long, and it's not particularly argumentative
6 like in some of the Fourth Circuit cases.
7 MR. DUNCAN: It was our intent not to be, Your
9 THE COURT: Right, okay. So this is what I will
10 be willing to say to the jury.
11 MR. HARBACH: Your Honor?
12 THE COURT: Yes, sir?
13 MR. HARBACH: I apologize for interrupting. Can I
14 be heard on one little part of this?
15 THE COURT: Yes, you may.
16 MR. HARBACH: The -- one of the reasons for the
17 government's proposed rewrite is the venue issue, and we had
18 some concern about the correctness of the defense's
19 contention as it was written. In other words -- I believe I
20 raised this yesterday. As I read the handwritten version,
21 it says: In addition, he contends that the payments alleged
22 in Counts Three, Four and Five were not accepted or received
23 in the Middle District of North Carolina.
24 And as we discussed yesterday, that's inconsistent
25 with the Court's venue instructions. In other words,
1 according to the instructions that Your Honor has put forth,
2 this alone would not establish improper venue.
3 So on just that one precise point, that's the
4 reason that we changed the language to be a little bit more
5 generic to simply restate that he doesn't believe that venue
6 is proper. And as I understand it from having read some of
7 the case law, which I hadn't done yesterday, one of the
8 requirements is that the instruction be correct, and so it's
9 on that correctness issue that we made that change.
10 THE COURT: All right.
11 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, I'll say simply we were
12 adopting the words used in the statute. That's where
13 "accepted or received" came from.
14 THE COURT: Well, that's a legitimate concern.
15 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, might I add one other
16 thing? In addition to the statute, the indictment actually
17 uses those phrases.
18 THE COURT: Well, I mean, it's -- I mean, I
19 understand you contend they were not accepted or received.
20 That is not a problem. It's the "in the Middle District of
21 North Carolina" that's the problem.
22 I think -- you know, the jury is here. They're
23 waiting. I think I've covered all the law on all of this.
24 Rather than try to sort through these two here at the last
25 minute, I believe I've covered the law, and I'm just going
1 to leave it out. Okay.
2 So I'll make those minor changes on the jury
3 instructions, and I indicated I read all of those. What
4 else do we need to do before closing argument?
5 MR. DUNCAN: Your Honor, can I make one last
6 suggestion before we leave that document?
7 THE COURT: Okay.
8 MR. DUNCAN: Although we do not prefer the
9 government's, we would take the government's version rather
10 than have nothing with respect to the defense theory of the
11 case, to avoid the Court's concern about trying to sort
12 through dueling versions.
13 THE COURT: Okay. Then I'll give the government's
15 MR. DUNCAN: Thank you, Your Honor.
16 THE COURT: I'll add that in. And obviously I'll
17 have to add some logical instructions associated with
18 subissues on Count One. You all -- I assume you all don't
19 need to see those in advance. It's just a matter of
20 logistically telling them what to do about that, so I'll add
21 that in when I instruct them on that. Anything else?
22 MS. VAN LANINGHAM: Your Honor, just one minor
23 point. This just relates to an exhibit issue I just want to
24 put on the record. When Mr. Walsh was testifying, there was
25 Exhibit 1250, which was a CD, and 1250A. They were
1 submitted subject to redaction. That's been redacted and
2 now submitted to Ms. Powell, and I just wanted to put that
3 on the record.
4 THE COURT: All right. Great. Anything else?
5 Okay. We're going to have to take a short break because I
6 have to look at the revised verdict sheet and be sure that
7 it's okay, and we have to get copies made of it for the
9 This is my intention about timing on closing
10 argument. I'm going to let the government open. They're
11 going to argue, I assume, at least an hour. Whenever you
12 finish after that, we will take a short break.
13 Then when we come back, I'll have -- I will excuse
14 the jury for the break, and I'll say specifically what we're
15 going to do about the defense argument, but we will break up
16 the defense argument for lunch. That means the defense will
17 need to go with their arguments until an appropriate time
18 for lunch, which I would say is no earlier than noon. If
19 you -- if the -- you know, we can talk about that at the
20 mid-morning break after we know exactly how long the
21 government's first argument is, but I'm -- you know, I don't
22 want to just stop you at noon. I'll certainly give a right
23 fair amount of leeway on the selection of a best starting
24 point, okay.
25 Then when we come back after lunch, we'll finish
1 the defense arguments. Hopefully, we'll be able to go
2 straight into the government's concluding argument and do
3 all of that without a break. Maybe that will work out,
4 maybe not.
5 I'm just going to play it by ear is the long and
6 the short of it, and you all just will need to be flexible
7 about these things, because I'm -- I don't know that I
8 really want to tie you down to minute-by-minute scheduling
9 on this. Okay?
10 So let me take a few minutes with the clerk to
11 finalize the verdict form; and then when we come back, we'll
12 proceed. Okay? We'll take a 5- or 10-minute recess.
13 (The Court recessed at 9:21 a.m.)
14 (The Court was called to order at 9:34 a.m.)
15 (The defendant was present.)
16 THE COURT: All right. We've got the new verdict
17 sheet. Anything we need to do before the jury comes in?
18 Who is making the closing argument?
19 MR. HIGDON: I am, Your Honor.
20 THE COURT: You are going first, and then
21 Mr. Harbach will be making the final --
22 MR. HARBACH: Yes, Your Honor.
23 THE COURT: All right. And over here?
24 MR. LOWELL: I'll be making the closing argument
25 on behalf of Mr. Edwards.
1 THE COURT: Thank you. And given -- I understood
2 from the clerk that the defense team had requested last
3 night that you have a lunch break in your argument; and
4 given that we're starting a little bit later, that is
5 clearly making sense.
6 MR. LOWELL: Assuming that they'll take the time
7 you allotted, I have a spot about halfway through as to when
8 we'd like that break to be, give or take a few minutes on
9 both sides.
10 THE COURT: We'll see what time it is when we take
11 the morning break. You may bring the jury in.
12 (The jury returned to the courtroom at 9:34 a.m.)
13 THE COURT: Good morning. We gave our best laid
14 plans, but -- well, we're ready to go. We had a little
15 issue about some last minute changes to the verdict sheet
16 that needed to be done before we got you all in here.
17 You have heard the evidence, and it will soon be
18 your job to decide from this evidence what the facts are and
19 then to apply the law that I will give you to those facts.
20 To assist you in this process, the lawyers are allowed to
21 make closing arguments to you.
22 We've all agreed they'll each take a couple of
23 hours -- a couple hours for the government and a couple
24 hours for the defense. The government gets to go first.
25 Then the defense takes it its turn. Then the government has
1 an opportunity for rebuttal argument. After these
2 arguments, I will instruct you on the law.
3 Now, this process is going to take all day, and I
4 expect you will begin your deliberations pretty much first
5 thing in the morning. All right?
6 Now, counsel in their arguments may properly refer
7 to some of the applicable rules of law in their closing
8 argument. However, I will instruct you fully on the law,
9 and what I say governs. So if you find there to be any
10 difference in what one of the lawyers says about the law and
11 what I tell you about the law, then you should disregard the
12 attorney's statements about the law and follow what I tell
14 The lawyers are also allowed to go over the
15 evidence with you and attempt to persuade you to answer the
16 issues in a particular way. They may say the evidence in a
17 way that's different from what you heard, and they may
18 remember it differently, or their recollection could be
19 inaccurate. You know, they are just like all the rest of
20 us. Or they may put an interpretation on the evidence that
21 you think is unwarranted. You are the judges of the facts,
22 and nothing the lawyers say is evidence, so you should be
23 guided by your own recollection.
24 Now that said, closing arguments can be quite
25 helpful to jurors in bringing together the evidence and
1 bringing the evidence back to mind, especially in a case
2 that has taken several weeks. You should give the lawyers
3 your full attention as they argue the case to you and
4 consider their arguments.
5 The clerk has copies of the verdict sheet for you,
6 all right. You may hand those out. You each will have a
7 copy in a second. That's your copy to take notes on during
8 argument and during my instructions, and you'll get the
9 original verdict sheet tomorrow when you begin your
10 deliberations. Feel free to write on it. As you can see,
11 there are six counts which will require your decision. Five
12 of the counts have subissues on venue, and there are a
13 couple of other special questions on the conspiracy count
14 you may need to answer.
15 I'll go over all of that with you when I talk to
16 you about the law, but I did want you to have the verdict
17 sheet in front of you during closing arguments because I
18 think that's helpful.
19 You will note that the verdict sheet begins with
20 Count Two, and then Count One is at the very end. So that's
21 on purpose, not a mistake, and I think it will be clear to
22 you why when I give my instructions to you.
23 At any time if you cannot hear or see what is
24 going on, please don't be shy. Speak up and let me know.
25 We will be begin with the government's initial
1 closing argument, which I understand will be given by
2 Mr. Higdon. After he makes his initial argument, we'll take
3 a short recess and then come back and begin the defense
4 closing argument.
5 The jury is with the government.
6 MR. HIGDON: May it please the Court, good
7 morning, ladies and gentlemen. On December 30, 2006, John
8 Edwards stepped onto a stage in Chapel Hill and told his
9 friends and supporters gathered there and people all over
10 this country who were watching on television that he wanted
11 to be the president of the United States. He asked all
12 Americans to allow him to be our leader. He asked for our
14 That day, to anyone watching, John Edwards had a
15 good chance of winning his party's nomination for president.
16 He was an experienced candidate. He had done this all
17 before. He had been a senator. He had run for president in
18 2004. He had been John Kerry's running mate in 2004. He
19 had a poverty-based platform focusing on Two Americas, and
20 he had a popular wife, and a beautiful family.
21 But on that day, the seeds of a destruction of his
22 campaign, seeds he had sown himself in February of 2006,
23 were waiting to destroy that campaign. And as he spoke, as
24 he declared he wanted to be, indeed, should be, our
25 president, he knew it. He knew that there in the crowd that
1 day, along with his wife and children, was Rielle Hunter, a
2 woman with whom he had been carrying on an affair for more
3 than ten months. But he was sure that the public would
4 never find out. He and his close aide, Andrew Young, had it
5 all under control.
6 When the affair began, Rielle Hunter was
7 unemployed and living with a friend. And as time passed,
8 Mr. Edwards had to find a way to help her financially, to
9 make sure that she was available when he wanted to see her,
10 and he had to make sure that she didn't talk to the media
11 about the affair. And he found the perfect solution. He
12 put her on his fledgling campaign as a videographer and
13 allowed her behind-the-scene-access to himself. So without
14 telling his staff and advisors what was really going on,
15 John Edwards added his mistress to his political road show,
16 and they began traveling around the country campaigning,
17 videotaping, and continuing the affair.
18 It seemed like a great plan. But unfortunately,
19 Mr. Edwards was surrounded by some savvy advisors and some
20 earnest, observant young staffers who began to suspect that
21 something was wrong. They watched Mr. Edwards' interaction
22 with this woman. She was given unequaled access to the
23 candidate. She flew on private planes when senior staff
24 traveled commercially to save money. She decided what
25 events she would attend, rather than allowing campaign
1 strategists to make that decision. She was provided with
2 health insurance when other contractors were not, and John
3 Edwards seemed to involve himself in the most minor of
4 decisions if it involved Rielle.
5 As the months passed, one by one, these staffers
6 and advisors began to be suspicious that Mr. Edwards was
7 carrying on an affair with Ms. Hunter, and they began to
8 fear it would damage or destroy the campaign; and let's face
9 it, it's obvious that it would have. It's just common
10 sense. It's something we all know, and every witness who
11 testified before you agreed and understood it would ruin his
12 chances of being elected president, and John Edwards
13 understood that, too.
14 These staff members and advisors began to confront
15 Mr. Edwards with their fears. First, Josh Brumberger, a
16 well-spoken, smart, dedicated young man who worked for
17 Mr. Edwards as the body man, cautiously raised the issue by
18 explaining to Mr. Edwards that the staff was getting the
19 wrong impression about his relationship with Ms. Hunter.
20 Mr. Brumberger told you that he had to summon the
21 courage to talk with his boss about this and was assured by
22 Mr. Edwards that he understood the problem and would correct
23 it. But Mr. Edwards didn't stop the affair, and he didn't
24 change his behavior. Mr. Brumberger told you that he tried
25 again to address the issue with Mr. Edwards by calling him
1 at home and telling him that he was worried about where
2 Mr. Edwards' head was at. This call was met with a cold
3 silence, the same silence that you heard about time and time
4 again when Mr. Edwards was faced with this problem.
5 Desperate and knowing that an extramarital affair
6 would simply destroy the campaign, Mr. Brumberger turned to
7 more senior people in the campaign page. He spoke to Nick
8 Baldick and Peter Scher, both of whom testified in this
9 trial. He explained to Baldick and Scher that he believed
10 that Edwards might be having an affair with Hunter, and he
11 pointed out the obvious: An affair would destroy the
12 presidential campaign of John Edwards.
13 Baldick and Scher agreed with Brumberger, and they
14 scheduled a meeting with the boss. They met with Edwards,
15 and they addressed the rumors of an affair directly with
16 him. Mr. Edwards denied that he was having an affair to
17 those two senior advisors, and he dismissed their concerns,
18 and he decided to punish Mr. Brumberger.
19 On October 16, 2006, Mr. Brumberger flew to
20 Chicago to meet up with Mr. Edwards so that they could
21 travel to China together. When Brumberger arrived at the
22 airport, he told you Mr. Edwards asked to meet with him
23 privately; and when they were alone, Mr. Edwards let him
24 have it. Using some pretty salty language, Mr. Edwards
25 accused Mr. Brumberger of being disloyal, told him that he
1 should have handled the issue like a man, and he reminded
2 him that he works for Mr. Edwards, not Baldick and Scher;
3 and then Edwards fired him.
4 He fired the guy who had been traveling with him
5 day and night for months. He fired the guy who had
6 dedicated his life to helping John Edwards get elected
7 president. He fired him because he had the guts to tell him
8 the truth. He fired the guy who actually put the campaign
9 ahead of himself. And the affair continued, and the
10 campaign continued, and the seeds of destruction continued
11 to grow.
12 Two months later, John Edwards stepped up on that
13 stage in Chapel Hill, and he told the world that he was
14 ready to be president, and he launched his official
15 campaign. And when John Edwards announced officially that
16 he was the candidate for president of the United States, he
17 was bound to follow the rules that Judge Eagles told you
18 about at the beginning of this trial.
19 You'll recall that she told you that during a
20 primary general election, a candidate for federal office can
21 receive contributions of no more than $2,300 from any one
22 individual for his campaign. It's a simple rule, and it
23 applies to every candidate and every donor. Judge Eagles
24 also told you that federal election law requires candidates
25 for federal office to report all contributions over $200 to
1 the Federal Election Commission. Again, it's a simple rule,
2 and it applies to every candidate and to every donor, and
3 these rules are important.
4 Patricia Young, a 30-plus-year veteran employee of
5 the Federal Election Commission told you about the
6 importance of these reports. They are required by law, and
7 they are used by the commission, the media, and the public
8 to determine the level of support a candidate has and to get
9 an idea of who is influencing the candidate: the voters or
10 the big donors?
11 In a democracy, it matters what we know about our
12 candidates. We need to know who is influencing them, we
13 need to know where they get their money from, and we need to
14 know how they choose to spend that money. So the FEC gets
15 those reports up on their website immediately after they are
16 filed, and the media begins to report on them as soon as
17 they are available.
18 When John Edwards declared his candidacy for
19 president in Chapel Hill in December of 2006, he was
20 promising to abide by those rules. He was promising to
21 raise no more than $2,300 from any one donor for the primary
22 and the same amount from any one donor if he made it to the
23 general election, and he was promising to report all that
24 money that he raised to the FEC so we would all know who
25 supported him and who was influencing him.
1 John Edwards knew these rules well. He lived by
2 them when he ran for the senate in 1998. He lived by them
3 when he ran for president in 2004. He lived by them when he
4 ran for vice president in 2004. Donors, staff members, and
5 advisors all testified that he knew the rules. He knew them
6 so well that he could advise donors, like Tim Toben, about
7 how much they could give, and he asked them to max out
8 whenever possible. He knew the rules well.
9 But the seeds of disaster that John Edwards had
10 planted in his campaign during 2006 would eventually mean he
11 couldn't comply with these basic rules, and the weeds which
12 sprouted from those seeds began to choke his campaign just
13 as he was announcing his candidacy to the world.
14 The Chapel Hill speech announcing his campaign was
15 part of a five-city tour to generate support for his
16 candidacy. He arrived in Chapel Hill, the last stop on the
17 tour, with Ms. Hunter in tow. They were picked up at the
18 airport by Andrew Young and other staffers and were driven
19 to the announcement event.
20 Waiting for him there were his wife and family;
21 and as luck would have it, Mrs. Edwards got her first real
22 glimpse of Ms. Hunter. She confronted her husband right
23 before the speech. They argued before he went up on that
24 stage, and the argument continued on into the evening after
25 the event was over, and Mr. Edwards admitted the affair to
1 his wife. But he told her it was only a one-time thing and
2 that it was over. In other words, he didn't tell the whole
3 truth; he lied.
4 The next day, Mr. Edwards fired Rielle Hunter as
5 the campaign videographer, and he told her the affair was
6 over; but it wasn't. It and the trouble it would cause for
7 him and his campaign were just beginning.
8 As far as Mrs. Edwards and the staff knew, Rielle
9 Hunter was gone. She didn't travel with the campaign. She
10 wasn't paid by the campaign. Things were looking better,
11 and John Edwards was a viable candidate, one of three
12 prominent senators who had a chance to win the White House,
13 and he had the affair under control, too.
14 When Mrs. Edwards demanded he fire Rielle Hunter,
15 John Edwards did what he always did when he needed something
16 or when he had a problem. He turned to his long time aide,
17 Andrew Young. Young, as you heard during the testimony, had
18 worked for Edwards for nine years. He ran phone banks for
19 him during his senate campaign in 1998. He served on his
20 staff in the United States Senate. He worked for his
21 political action committee. He worked with Edwards at the
22 Poverty Center. He worked with him on the 2004 race for
23 president. He worked with him when he ran for vice
24 president in the general election of that year, and he was
25 working with him again this time around.
1 Over the years, they'd spent an amazing amount of
2 time together, maybe more time than they'd actually spent
3 with their families. Andrew Young was always waiting for
4 Mr. Edwards when the plane touched down after a campaign
5 trip. Young had driven Edwards around the state of North
6 Carolina for years. They visited all 100 counties together.
7 They spent hours talking, and they shared many common
8 interests; and the most important interest they shared was a
9 desire to see John Edwards elected president.
10 And over the years, Andrew Young had shown no
11 hesitation in doing anything and everything John Edwards
12 asked of him, whether he was asked to get the dry cleaning
13 or make sure the wine was chilled and waiting in the car.
14 Andrew Young was willing to sacrifice his personal dignity
15 and self-respect to serve the man who he idolized and
16 respected. He had been willing to endure his wife's anger
17 and to risk his marriage as he dedicated untold hours and
18 unlimited energy to the political ambitions of John Edwards.
19 So John Edwards turned to Andrew Young and asked
20 him to help hide the continuing affair, and at first it
21 wasn't that hard. Edwards was traveling the country running
22 for president. He really wasn't home that much, and Rielle
23 Hunter could meet him along the campaign trail. No one
24 would ever know. All Andrew Young really needed to do was
25 to help make Hunter's travel plans and make sure that the
1 phone Edwards used to talk to Hunter was hidden when Edwards
2 returned to North Carolina.
3 So Young began meeting Edwards as he came and went
4 on campaign trips. He made sure Edwards had the "bat phone"
5 when he left North Carolina, and he retrieved it from him
6 when he came back. Easy solution. Andrew would take care
7 of it, and John Edwards wouldn't have to worry about that
8 nasty little problem of leaving evidence of the affair
9 behind for anyone to find.
10 But, of course, the problem became bigger and
11 harder to hide. The more that Hunter and Edwards met along
12 the campaign trial, the more likely it was that they would
13 be caught, caught by staffers, caught by the media; and if
14 that happened, there was no question it would destroy the
16 Not long after Hunter was fired, John Davis, the
17 young body man who replaced Josh Brumberger after
18 Mr. Edwards fired him, was in a hotel with Edwards in
19 Detroit, Michigan. He saw her on an elevator, and it wasn't
20 long before she showed up at the door of his room. She came
21 in and told him that she had told Mr. Edwards she had seen
22 him on the elevator. She told Davis that she and Edwards
23 were in love and were engaged in the affair. She told Davis
24 she was glad that he knew the truth, and then she left
25 Davis' room.
1 The next morning, Mr. Davis began the day with
2 Mr. Edwards as usual. They reviewed the schedule and
3 prepared to begin campaigning; but then John Edwards took
4 Mr. Davis aside and explained that Rielle Hunter had been in
5 the hotel last night, that she was crazy and that she was
6 claiming to have had an affair with him, which he denied,
7 and that she was threatening to tell the media.
8 According to Davis, Edwards told Davis that he and
9 Andrew Young would be the people in the campaign who would
10 have to deal with her and that Davis should keep Ms. Hunter
11 away from Mr. Edwards. And think for a minute. That is
12 exactly what Mr. Harbach told you the evidence would show.
13 When Mr. Edwards was confronted with a threat to his
14 ambitions, he would deny, deceive, and manipulate; and
15 that's exactly what he did to John Davis.
16 But this wasn't the only time the staff members
17 found Ms. Hunter in John Edwards' hotel room. In June of
18 2007, Ms. Hunter met up with Mr. Edwards and spent the night
19 with him in a hotel room in Florida. The next morning,
20 Mr. Edwards left the room first, and Ms. Hunter stayed
22 When staff members arrived to sweep the room, to
23 make sure nothing important was left behind, they found a
24 woman locked in the room. Hunter, panicked by this
25 discovery, called John Edwards, and John Edwards did what he
1 always did. He called Andrew Young. Young called
2 Ms. Hunter, calmed her down, and made up a story to explain
3 the problem to the staff members standing at the door.
4 Ms. Hunter got out of the hotel, and no one was the wiser.
5 But days later, in a very strange discussion, when Mr. Young
6 asked Mr. Edwards about the incident at the hotel, Edwards
7 denied that Hunter was even in Florida.
8 Now, as the affair became harder and harder to
9 keep quiet, and as Ms. Hunter became more frustrated and
10 increasingly threatened to go public to avoid living the
11 lie, Mr. Edwards realized he needed a plan to support
12 Ms. Hunter and to keep her quiet.
13 Edwards and Young talked about who could provide
14 money to support Ms. Hunter, at least until the campaign was
15 over, and Mr. Edwards' wife, who was suffering from cancer,
16 had passed away. What they needed was enough money to
17 support Hunter, fund her travel, and keep her happy, keep
18 her happy enough that she wouldn't tell her friends or any
19 reporters what was going on. Mr. Edwards wanted to keep the
20 affair going; but he knew if it became public, the campaign
21 was over.
22 Mr. Edwards couldn't use his own funds.
23 Mrs. Edwards kept close tabs on their family money, and she
24 was, by this time, keeping pretty close tabs on Mr. Edwards
25 himself, checking campaign phone records, questioning staff
1 members about Edwards' travel plans and traveling
2 companions, switching phones with Mr. Edwards to keep lines
3 of communications confused. So Edwards and Young considered
4 other sources of funding.
5 Mr. Edwards first thought about the $400,000 that
6 Andrew and Cheri Young made from the sale of their Raleigh
7 home. That money was parked in the Young's investment
8 account. Young had told him about it, and you've seen all
9 the bank records showing the money in the Youngs' account.
10 Mr. Edwards promised that he would pay it back just as soon
11 as Elizabeth died.
12 But when Andrew sheepishly asked his wife if they
13 might use the money to help Edwards continue his affair with
14 Rielle, Cheri Young put her foot down. They needed that
15 money to pay for the home that they were now building on the
16 property that they had bought from Tim Toben.
17 So Mr. Edwards and Mr. Young continued looking for
18 another way to support Ms. Hunter. They considered
19 approaching the musician Boyd Tinsley, but that didn't work
20 out. So Edwards and Young turned to David Kirby,
21 Mr. Edwards' former law partner. But Mr. Kirby would only
22 offer a $25,000 loan, and that simply wasn't enough. So
23 Edwards and Young kept searching.
24 That's when Mr. Young recalled a letter he had
25 just received from Bunny Mellon. Now, you will certainly
1 recall that Mrs. Mellon was one of John Edwards' most
2 dedicated supporters. Indeed, other than John Edwards
3 himself, there is probably no one on the planet who wanted
4 John Edwards to be president more than Bunny Mellon.
5 Since 2004, when she put her own ads in the local
6 newspaper, Mrs. Mellon had followed Mr. Edwards' career and
7 political success from her estate near Upperville, Virginia.
8 She believed that Mr. Edwards was the right man to lead the
9 country, and she wanted to offer whatever support possible.
10 And with Bunny Mellon, friend of the Kennedys, millionaire,
11 private airplane, lots of wealthy friends, a lot of support
12 was possible.
13 Since December 1st, 2005, Mr. Edwards had been
14 cultivating Mrs. Mellon as a supporter. He visited her farm
15 on several occasions. He sent Mr. Young to see her and to
16 encourage her and her good friend, Bryan Huffman, to fund
17 John Edwards' political ambitions. Edwards stayed in touch
18 with her by telephone, letting her know of his political
19 progress around the country. He called her on birthdays and
20 special events, just as he did with other supporters,
21 whenever the staff reminded him to do so.
22 And Mrs. Mellon had come to value her relationship
23 with John Edwards. She was energized by his campaign. She
24 was excited when her candidate would call her. She had
25 given more than $3 million to the One America Committee and
1 the Center for Promise & Opportunity to help Edwards prepare
2 for the campaign, and she was upset when she felt that his
3 political opponents were after him.
4 In April of 2007, she was very upset. She had
5 heard in the media that Mr. Edwards had spent a lot of money
6 on haircuts and had charged that cost to his campaign. Like
7 any other expenditure attributed to the campaign, the
8 haircut had been reported by the campaign staff to the
9 Federal Election Commission on the quarterly report that you
10 heard Patricia Young talk about, and the media and
11 Mr. Edwards' political opponents who comb these reports just
12 as soon as they were filed were making Mr. Edwards look bad
13 for this pretty extravagant expenditure.
14 And let's just take a moment to think about this.
15 It may seem trivial, but the haircut issue proves that the
16 campaign disclosure system really does work. In that case,
17 Mr. Edwards had charged his campaign with an extravagant
18 personal expense. It was paid for with campaign funds. It
19 was reported on the FEC report, and the media and public
20 were allowed to debate his judgment. Some people thought it
21 was a big deal. Others thought it was unimportant. Either
22 way, the voters knew about it and could factor it into their
23 decision to support or oppose Mr. Edwards' candidacy.
24 But Bunny Mellon didn't see it that way. She felt
25 that her candidate should have anything he needed to make
1 his campaign a little easier; and if he needed a $400
2 haircut to advance the cause, then so be it. She didn't see
3 any need to be bothered with those ridiculous government
4 restrictions. What a candidate, her candidate, spent on
5 himself was nobody's business, as she saw it.
6 So on April 21st 2007, Mrs. Mellon sat down and
7 wrote Mr. Young a letter, and I'm going to ask Mr. Morgan to
8 put Government's Exhibit Number 128 up on the screen.
9 You've seen this letter:
10 "Dear Andrew, the timing of your call on Friday
11 was witchy. I was sitting alone in a grim mood furious that
12 the press attacked Senator Edwards on the price of a
13 haircut, but it inspired me. From now on, all haircuts, et
14 cetera, that are necessary, important, and part of his
15 campaign, please send the bills to me, care of Alex Forger,
16 in New York. It is a way to help our friend without
17 government restrictions. I see jealousy coming from
18 somewhere in this news report. With love and a big hug to
19 you and the senator, much love, Bunny."
20 Riding along together while campaigning one day,
21 Young shared the letter with the senator. Maybe this was a
22 solution to the problem. But there were two issues. First,
23 Mrs. Mellon had already given $4,600 to John Edwards'
24 political campaign. As Aliene Laws and Alex Forger told
25 you, she had given it in response to mailings from the
1 campaign; but all they had to do to get around that rule,
2 Edwards and Young decided, was to tell her that it was for a
3 personal need, something that the senator needed. Make sure
4 to convince her that it was outside the campaign, and the
5 problems she might have with the FEC rules and those
6 donation limits could be avoided.
7 But how to deal with the second problem: Alex
8 Forger. Mr. Forger, as you know, oversaw Mrs. Mellon's
9 investments in her company. He provided her advice, and he
10 helped manage her considerable resources, and he'd already
11 told her that he couldn't give Edwards more -- that she
12 couldn't give Edwards more than $4,600, and he'd already
13 told Andrew Young that Mrs. Mellon wasn't going to give any
14 more funds right now.
15 On April 24, 2007, just three days after
16 Mrs. Mellon had written Andrew Young, Alex Forger emailed
17 Mr. Young to let him know that Mrs. Mellon wouldn't be
18 giving any more money to any of the other organizations that
19 supported John Edwards' political ambitions, and she was
20 going to follow the advice of her advisors.
21 Mr. Morgan, if you'd put up Government's Exhibit
22 Number 574. This is the email from Mr. Forger to Andrew
24 "Andrew, Ken Starr, citing her current financial
25 commitments, has advised Mrs. Mellon against taking on any
1 additional projects for the time being. She has accepted
2 Ken's counsel and requested that I send along her regrets.
3 She continues to be one of the senator's most ardent
5 Thank you, Mr. Morgan.
6 So they needed to work around Mr. Forger, and that
7 was easy. More lies, more deceit, more manipulation.
8 Edwards would just call Mellon himself, and Andrew could
9 then follow up and work out the details. Mrs. Mellon had
10 told them both over and over that she'd do anything she
11 could to help Senator Edwards, help him become president.
12 In letter after letter, she confirmed that support.
13 So Edwards spoke with Mrs. Mellon, and suddenly
14 Mr. Forger wasn't really a problem anymore. It was as if
15 the sentence in that letter, send the bills to me care of
16 Alex Forger, was simply removed from that letter. Now they
17 had a plan to support Mr. Edwards without government
19 After Edwards talked to Mellon, he told Andrew to
20 call her. Mr. Edwards said she was good to go. And so
21 Mr. Young called Mrs. Mellon. She had a plan, and she was
22 all business. He could hear papers rustling, and she gave
23 out very detailed instructions.
24 Mr. Young told you that Mellon explained that she
25 was leery of working through her attorneys and wanted to
1 write these checks directly from her personal account
2 because nobody really reviewed that account. She didn't
3 want the checks to be written to Andrew Young because
4 someone on her staff might recognize Mr. Young's name and
5 connect the money to the campaign. She explained that she
6 would make the checks out to her friend, Bryan Huffman, and
7 would note that the money was to buy furniture. Huffman
8 would endorse the checks and forward them on to Young for
9 deposit. Andrew Young reported to John Edwards that
10 Mrs. Mellon had agreed to provide the support. Problem
12 Now at about this time, the affair between
13 Ms. Hunter and Mr. Edwards became more complicated.
14 Ms. Hunter was pregnant. Mellon's money was more important
15 than ever. It was one thing to hide an affair, it was
16 something altogether different to hide a pregnancy and
17 child. But Mrs. Mellon's willingness to give so much money
18 meant it was possible, and so Mellon's checks began rolling
19 in. Mellon wrote them whenever she felt like it.
20 She sent them to Huffman by "fast mail," as you
21 heard. He endorsed the back of the check, and he quickly
22 forwarded them on to Andrew Young.
23 Now, Andrew Young had to get them in the bank, so
24 he told his wife that she would be the one to deposit them
25 using her name, her maiden name, to endorse the back of the
1 checks. This would allow them to take the money in without
2 Mellon's staff getting wise. They wouldn't recognize the
3 name Cheri Pfister. They wouldn't question Mellon about
4 these funds.
5 Now, this argument made Mr. Young very uneasy. As
6 he told you:
7 "Mr. Edwards was a viable presidential candidate.
8 This was a truckload of money, much more money than had ever
9 flowed through our accounts; and getting my wife involved
10 and just the methodology, it just all seemed crazy. It was
11 way, way, way over the limits for contributions to
12 candidates, and this was directed to help him maintain his
13 quest for the presidency."
14 And ladies and gentlemen, that's what this case is
15 all about: Contributions designed to influence the
16 election, and they were way over the limit. This is the
17 point of this case.
18 Mrs. Young wasn't easily convinced either. She
19 had already had just about enough of John Edwards. For
20 years, she had complained to her husband about John Edwards
21 and the demands of her husband as he worked for Mr. Edwards.
22 She was embarrassed by how willing her husband was to take
23 on menial tasks for Mr. Edwards and his family. She felt,
24 quite rightly, that the Edwardses took advantage of her
25 husband. But he did it willingly. He sacrificed time with
1 his family, and she wanted to be supportive, supportive even
2 though she felt alienated and lonely because of John
3 Edwards' looming presence in her marriage.
4 But this was different. Now they were involving
5 her. And it was so much money. How could this be legal?
6 It was nearing the end of the second quarter of 2007. Her
7 husband was frantically raising money for the John Edwards
8 Campaign. The second quarterly report to the FEC had to
9 show lots of support for John Edwards. The media would be
10 watching. The other campaigns would be watching.
11 Mrs. Young told you that she could hear her
12 husband on the phone day after day pushing people to give
13 $50 more, $100 more, give to the limit, max out, give up to
14 $4,600. So how could someone give hundreds of thousands of
15 dollars to help Mr. Edwards? How could someone give
16 hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure John Edwards'
17 campaign could continue?
18 Cheri Young, from outside the campaign, saw the
19 problem. This was illegal. So she put her foot down.
20 Andrew, I want to hear it from him myself, she said. I want
21 to hear John Edwards tell me it's legal. I want to hear
22 John Edwards explain to me how this is possible. So Andrew
23 Young got John Edwards on the phone for about the fifth
24 time, and Mr. Edwards wasn't happy.
25 According to Mrs. Young, he was short and angry,
1 but he answered the question. Mrs. Young told you what
2 Mr. Edwards said. I heard John Edwards tell me on the
3 phone. He checked with the campaign lawyers, she said.
4 This was not a campaign donation. There was nothing
5 illegal. Get the money in. And he knew better. But Cheri
6 and Andrew Young were protesting, and he had to get them
7 over this hump so he could tell them -- he told them
8 whatever he needed to to get them to agree. So Cheri Young
9 gave in.
10 She gave in because she feared the campaign would
11 fall apart if she didn't. She told you, we were at a peak
12 point, is what she called it; and if I didn't do this to
13 take care of this woman, the campaign was going down. She
14 feared that all the work that she and her husband had done
15 for the Edwardses for so many years would all be lost. She
16 was afraid of the effect on Mrs. Edwards if the news of the
17 affair came out as well.
18 So she took those first two checks, drove to the
19 bank in Chapel Hill, and sat in her car and tried to summon
20 up enough courage to go into the bank to deposit these
21 checks made out to Bryan Huffman, but put into her account.
22 Funny, no one said a word when she actually did it. No one
23 asked any questions. They deposited the checks, put the
24 money in her account, and thanked her for her business. And
25 the checks kept coming, $10,000, 25,000, 65,000, 100,000,
1 150,000, 175,000, 200,000, $725,000 in all, and Cheri Young
2 was scared each time.
3 And sometimes the bank gave her a hard time. When
4 she tried to deposit a check for $100,000, the bank
5 questioned her, and the banks in California simply wouldn't
6 take the checks. They had to be sent back to Bryan Huffman
7 so he could deposit them for the Youngs, and he did that,
8 amazingly, at the drive-up window at his bank in Charlotte.
9 And as the money came in, the Youngs began to
10 provide support to Mrs. Hunter, the support John Edwards
11 told them to supply, the support needed to keep Hunter quiet
12 and allow the campaign to continue. But they only gave her
13 a few thousand dollars a month. John Edwards told them to
14 limit the money they gave her. She had debts. No need to
15 give her too much, or the money wouldn't last long. Mr. and
16 Mrs. Young wrote, as you saw, $38,000 worth of checks and
17 deposited money into Ms. Hunter's account as Mr. Edwards
18 directed. You saw the checks, and you saw the deposits into
19 her account.
20 And the plan worked pretty. Plenty of money was
21 coming in. Ms. Hunter was being supported. The campaign
22 was underway. John Edwards was focused on his strategy of
23 winning the Iowa Caucuses. Hunter joined Mr. Edwards along
24 the campaign trail to continue the affair, and the media
25 didn't know anything, or so Mr. Edwards thought.
1 But the seeds of destruction that Mr. Edwards had
2 sown when he began his affair when he announced the
3 candidacy in Chapel Hill with Ms. Hunter in the audience,
4 and when he continued the affair to the point of getting Ms.
5 Hunter pregnant were growing all around him. The media,
6 they're a persistent bunch. They ask a lot of questions.
7 They don't give up easily, and somehow they suspected the
9 An article appeared in the New York Post on
10 August 27, 2007, but no one paid much attention. It was
11 vague. It didn't mention John Edwards. It didn't mention
12 Rielle Hunter. A small weed, no big deal.
13 But by September 27, it was more serious. And
14 this is an interesting day. You recall that we spent a good
15 deal of time talking about the campaign schedules, reviewing
16 John Davis' cell phone records, and showing you other
17 documents that revealed this chain of events. On that day,
18 reporters for the National Inquirer located Rielle Hunter.
19 She was living with her friend, Mimi Hockman, in New Jersey.
20 You'll recall from the testimony of Nick Baldick
21 that Ms. Hockman was Ms. Hunter's business partner in a
22 company called Midline Groove. That's the company that
23 produced all the videotape footage and the webisode. Rielle
24 Hunter, unemployed, living off Bunny Mellon's money and
25 pregnant by John Edwards, was living there hiding from the
1 news media, but they found her.
2 According to the testimony of John Davis and the
3 schedules we reviewed, John Edwards was miles away in New
4 Hampshire on September 27. He was campaigning in a state
5 which hosts the second primary contest, and he was only
6 three months away from the first contest, the Iowa Caucuses.
7 John Davis explained that on that day Mr. Edwards had made
8 the decision to take money from the Federal Election
9 Commission, taxpayer money, to fund his campaign, money he
10 needed to keep pace with his rivals, money he felt that
11 would give him enough steam to win the Iowa Caucuses and
12 push him to the front of the pack as the campaign moved on
13 to other states.
14 So that day on CNN he announced that he was taking
15 the taxpayers' money so he could win this election. But as
16 he came off the campaign bus that day carrying John Davis'
17 cell phone, he got some bad news. He took a call from
18 Rielle Hunter. The media was camped out at Mimi's house.
19 They had found her. "Are you showing?" he asked over the
20 phone as John Davis stood outside the door. The plan was
21 falling apart. The seeds of destruction had sprouted. The
22 weeds were beginning to grow.
23 But John Edwards had a solution. As always, he
24 turned to Andrew Young. She'll come stay with you, Edwards
25 told him. She'll fly there tonight, live with you for a
1 while. This will all blow over. This will prevent the
2 story from moving beyond the tabloid trash. It will keep it
3 from affecting the campaign. But they had to get past Cheri
4 Young again, and there wasn't much time.
5 Despite the fact that his wife had had medical
6 tests that day and was still wearing EEG wires on her head,
7 Andrew gave her little choice. The media had discovered
8 Rielle. She's got to get out of New Jersey. She's got to
9 come here to stay with us for a while. It's a gated
10 community. No one can get in here. No one will find her.
11 She's coming, Cheri. And she did come.
12 By that night, Rielle Hunter was standing in the
13 entryway of the Youngs' home, happy, and doing a spin. Here
14 I am, she said. So Cheri Young tried to make Hunter
15 comfortable. For the next couple of weeks, she allowed her
16 to live in the Youngs' home. She took care of her, and she
17 paid her bills, and she stayed away from her home when John
18 Edwards wanted to come spend the afternoon with his
20 And the plan worked. The media seemed to lose
21 track of Ms. Hunter. She was stashed quietly behind the
22 gates of the Governors Club, and the campaign went on. The
23 plan worked well enough that Edwards and Young decided
24 Hunter should move into her own house in the neighborhood.
25 She would be safe behind the wall. The Youngs would provide
1 the financial support using Bunny Mellon's money, and no one
2 would be the wiser; not even Mrs. Edwards, since she wasn't
3 speaking to Andrew and Cheri Young by now. And the Youngs
4 could keep an eye on her, and they could keep her quiet.
5 So Andrew Young signed a one-year lease and moved
6 Hunter to her own home. Hunter furnished it and equipped it
7 using Mrs. Mellon's money. Cheri Young set up all the
8 utilities, and the Youngs got Hunter a credit card tied to
9 their American Express account using the name Jaya James,
10 the name Hunter selected. And Cheri Young arranged for her
11 to see her own doctors and pay for her medical care, which
12 Ms. Hunter required, and it was paid for out of funds
13 provided by Mrs. Mellon using a cashier's check, and the
14 campaign went on. But the weeds were growing.
15 In October, The National Enquirer gave the Edwards
16 Campaign a heads up about an article it was planning to run.
17 They were going to accuse Edwards of having an affair, but
18 Mr. Edwards wasn't worried. He had Hunter hidden away. He
19 had funds to take care of her, and it was easy to criticize
20 The National Enquirer. Tabloid trash, he told everyone.
21 And he had the help of some of his closest advisors and
23 Besides Andrew and Cheri Young, Edwards was being
24 helped by his campaign finance chairman, Fred Baron, and his
25 wife, Lisa Blue. Baron, a wealthy and successful Texas
1 attorney, was a staunch supporter of Mr. Edwards, having
2 been actively recruited in 2004 for his money and
3 connections, according to the testimony of Eileen Mancera.
4 He also had a private plane which Edwards often used to
5 travel and campaign.
6 Now, Baron had only met Hunter briefly for the
7 first time in Seattle in the summer of 2006 when John
8 Edwards visited with a group of trial lawyers. You saw the
9 videotape where Fred meets Hunter for the first time. But
10 by now Baron and his wife were interacting with her more.
11 They were helping to keep Hunter quiet, too.
12 Jennifer Palmieri told you that on October 6th,
13 John Edwards summoned her to a hotel room in Iowa. When she
14 got there, she found a heated argument under way between
15 Elizabeth Edwards, Fred Baron, and Lisa Blue, and
16 Mrs. Edwards wanted answers. She wanted to know why Fred
17 and Lisa were flying Hunter aboard their plane to California
18 for shopping sprees. Baron and Blue explained that you keep
19 your friends close and your enemies closer. Tending to
20 Hunter, Baron said, was important to protect the campaign,
21 the campaign whose finances he oversaw, the campaign to
22 elect candidate who amazingly sat silently in the face of
23 this argument.
24 The article ran in The National Enquirer. Edwards
25 denied he was having an affair. He criticized The National
1 Enquirer, continued the affair, and the campaign moved on.
2 The strategy worked.
3 According to Mark Kornblau, the traveling
4 spokesman for the campaign, efforts to keep the story out of
5 the mainstream media were successful, and Mr. Kornblau was
6 pretty proud of the work he himself did to accomplish that
7 goal. But the weeds continued to grow. The media didn't
8 give up.
9 In December of 2007, less than a month before the
10 Iowa Caucuses, as John Edwards worked day and night to win
11 that first key race, a very pregnant Rielle Hunter was
12 photographed near Raleigh by photographers from The National
13 Enquirer. Hunter fled to the Youngs' home in the Governors
14 Club. The photographers followed.
15 Young called Edwards to discuss what to do, and by
16 the next morning Edwards had a plan. He called Andrew Young
17 while Young and his wife were shopping at PetSmart. Knowing
18 Edwards as he had for a long time, Young told you he knew
19 something was coming.
20 Andrew Young told you he talked about this -- how
21 this was bigger than all of us. He talked about how the
22 election started in a couple of weeks. That he didn't think
23 that Iowans, where he was extremely popular, were going to
24 take a chance on a minority -- or nominating a minority or a
25 woman. He talked about the key campaign issues, poverty,
1 getting our kids out of Iraq, health care. He also talked
2 about that he didn't want Mrs. Edwards to die with this on
3 the front page of the newspapers.
4 But his closing statement was, you know, if we
5 give them something, something that the press will
6 understand, which is an affair between two staffers, which
7 is what he was proposing, then they'll go away. And he
8 said, Andrew, they don't give an S-H-I-T about you; they
9 want me. And he also said that he understood that this was
10 a big thing, but he assured us that it was going to be short
11 term. All Young could remember saying in response was I
12 need to talk to my wife.
13 When Cheri Young came out of the store and got
14 into the car, she asked her husband what John Edwards wanted
15 on the phone. That was a question she had asked hundreds of
16 times before. But this time, the answer from her husband
17 was quite different. He told her they'd talk about it in a
18 while. Cheri Young pressed her husband. Finally, he told
19 her John Edwards wants me to claim paternity for Rielle
20 Hunter's child, an unimaginable request, the kind of request
21 that can only be made by someone who, to quote John Edwards
22 from the Nightline interview, is self-centered and
23 egotistical and who believes that there will be no
24 consequences for their actions.
25 But what was even more amazing is Andrew Young was
1 considering doing it, and Mrs. Young was furious. The first
2 thought in my mind, she told you, was how in the world could
3 Mr. Edwards ask one more thing of me, of us. I was mad. I
4 was upset. Of course, I said absolutely not. Screamed at
5 him. Cursed at him. Picked up the food and left and didn't
6 speak another peep.
7 Later that day, Andrew sat down with Cheri and
8 made his pitch. He told her what Mr. Edwards had said to
9 him earlier that day on the phone. He repeated Mr. Edwards'
10 speech. But she wasn't really listening.
11 But then there was a phone call, a call that
12 involved the Youngs, Rielle Hunter, and John Edwards.
13 According to Cheri Young, Mr. Edwards was trying to get
14 everyone on board, and Mr. Edwards made his pitch. And she
15 said, so he started with the campaign. This is it. This is
16 our time. We're doing great. We've gotten this far. The
17 story has been covered. We can do this. Just over and over
18 about the campaign, she said, as if it was good for our
19 country. It's good for me. That's what I worked for. This
20 is what your family has devoted themselves to.
21 And he told them, it's a one-day story if you take
22 responsibility, Andrew. Nobody cares. Who cares about two
23 campaign staffers having an affair? It will be a one-day
24 story. And then he talked about Mrs. Edwards. He reminded
25 them all that she was very ill. He said she was going to
1 die soon, and he didn't want her to find out.
2 Mrs. Young began to think, and by the end of the
3 night she was the lone holdout. Ms. Hunter had agreed.
4 Mr. Young had agreed. Mr. Edwards was the one making the
5 pitch. So it came down to Cheri Young. And, as she told
6 you, she felt like everything had been dumped in my lap,
7 that everything -- everyone was on board but me and that I
8 didn't want the responsibility of knowing that because I
9 didn't go along with this, because I didn't want to try it,
10 that the campaign -- that the campaign would explode, and it
11 would be my fault, and I would have to live with that. So I
12 ultimately agreed to go along with the lie.
13 So Cheri Young allowed her husband to publicly
14 claim paternity of John Edwards' child, and she agreed to
15 pick up her family, leave her home, and run away so that the
16 media couldn't prove the affair so that the campaign could
18 And as you heard, leaving her home was the second
19 part of Mr. Edwards' plan. He instructed Young to call Fred
20 Baron and told Young that Baron would arrange for them to
21 fly out on a private plane so that they could get away from
22 the media. Hide Ms. Hunter, who was obviously pregnant, and
23 allow Edwards to wrap up a victory in Iowa.
24 You saw the phone records showing the calls
25 between Young and Edwards and Young and Baron on that day.
1 And I'm going to ask Mr. Morgan to put the slide up,
2 Exhibit 773.
3 You will recall that we talked a lot about phone
4 analysis, and analysis of the calls, which are listed on
5 this exhibit, for December 14, 2007, involving phones that
6 testimony and exhibits showed are connected to Mr. Young,
7 Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Baron, showed that on that day, there
8 were five calls between Mr. Edwards and Mr. Young, and that
9 evening there were three calls between Mr. Young and
10 Mr. Baron as they were setting up the plan to get the Youngs
11 and Ms. Hunter out of North Carolina. Mr. Young did call
12 Mr. Baron; and as he told you, Mr. Baron clearly understood
13 what the plan was.
14 And so in the early morning hours of December 18,
15 2007, Andrew and Cheri Young, along with Rielle Hunter, went
16 to the Youngs' wooded and dark property in Chapel Hill, left
17 their care, and met up with Tim Toben. Mr. Toben, a donor
18 and supporter of John Edwards, had received a phone call the
19 day before from Andrew Young asking him to do a big favor
20 for the senator, and he told him he couldn't really explain
21 why the favor was necessary, but Young needed a ride to the
22 airport at 4 a.m. So Toben obliged, and the group of four
23 drove to the Raleigh-Durham Airport where the Youngs and
24 Hunter hopped aboard a plane provided by Fred Baron and
25 began their three weeks of hotels, villas, luxury homes, and
1 private jets. Fred kept them moving, and it wasn't cheap.
2 This wasn't a guy quietly helping out a friend who
3 was in trouble. This was a full rescue operation rescuing a
4 presidential campaign teetering on the brink of huge success
5 or complete destruction, and money was no object. And don't
6 forget, John Edwards was very grateful. He called Toben
7 that afternoon to thank him for what he had done.
8 So a chartered, private plane arrived in Raleigh
9 to take the Youngs and Hunter to Florida. Cost? More than
10 $9,000. They checked into the Westin Diplomat Resort in
11 Hollywood, Florida. Cost? More than $8,000.
12 And remember the bills weren't paid by Mr. Young,
13 Mrs. Young, or Ms. Hunter. That wasn't possible. Their
14 names couldn't be associated with any of these transactions
15 because that would be too easy for the media and press to
16 learn. So everything was paid for by Mr. Baron directly,
17 and Andrew Young was told to use only cash. Remember the
18 note Mr. Baron left for him at the front desk with $1,000,
19 Exhibit 275? On Baron and Blue letterhead, Mr. Baron's law
20 firm, "Old Chinese saying, Andrew. Use cash, not credit
22 And while they were in Florida, Mr. Young and
23 Ms. Hunter released their public statements falsely saying
24 that Young was the father of Hunter's child. He was the
25 father of Mr. Edwards' child.
1 Next, the group moves on to Aspen, Colorado, for a
2 brief stay at Mr. Baron's luxury vacation home. Cost of the
3 private flight more than $29,000.
4 Then they moved to the Loews Coronado Bay Hotel in
5 San Diego. Cost of the private flight, nearly $15,000.
6 Cost of the hotel stay, more than $10,000.
7 Next, it's back to Aspen in a return visit to
8 Mr. Baron's vacation home. Cost of the private flight, more
9 than $11,000.
10 And then back to California where the group
11 planned to stay for a while. Cost of the private flight,
12 more than $15,000. Cost of the hotel stay at the Four
13 Seasons Hotels, more than $25,000.
14 All these amounts are summarized in a chart which
15 is part of the indictment in Count One.
16 And, of course, John Edwards knew about this plan.
17 John Davis told you so. You'll recall that while Mr. Davis,
18 John Edwards, and Fred Baron were traveling aboard
19 Mr. Baron's plane in Iowa campaigning for the Iowa Caucuses,
20 the three of them were sitting knee to knee. Baron leans
21 over and tells Mr. Edwards not to worry about the issue of
22 Rielle Hunter. According to Mr. Davis, quote, Fred started
23 talking about how the media wasn't going to be able to find
24 Rielle because he was -- they were moving her around,
25 Mr. Davis said. It was at that point that Mr. Davis told
1 Mr. Baron to stop talking.
2 And, again, Mr. Edwards said nothing. No
3 questions, no comments, no denial, no challenge, no nothing.
4 It was the same response he had given Josh Brumberger the
5 second time he had warned Mr. Edwards about the risk of an
6 affair, and it was the same reaction Jennifer Palmieri had
7 seen in that Iowa hotel room when Mrs. Edwards was
8 confronting the Barons.
9 Eventually, Mr. Baron settled the Youngs and a
10 very pregnant Rielle Hunter in California, far from the
11 political world Mr. Edwards was living in. They were behind
12 the wall of a gated community where the media couldn't find
13 her. She was being watched by the Youngs. The Youngs were
14 paying her expenses out of Mrs. Mellon's money, and Fred
15 Baron paid $58,667 to move them into a mansion. But that
16 was just the first month's rent and the security deposit.
17 The rental payments were going to be $20,000 per month.
18 Mr. Edwards knew very well what was going on.
19 Again, let's look at the phone records. Mr. Morgan, if
20 you'd please put up Exhibit 764A. Here we have a chart
21 showing contact between Mr. Young's cell phone, the 3105
22 number that we've talked about so much during the trial, and
23 Mr. Edwards' phone, the 0341 number.
24 Now, the defense woulds have us believe that,
25 despite the obvious benefit to his campaign, Mr. Edwards was
1 unaware of the scheme to hide Ms. Hunter and the affair from
2 the public, that Mr. Young came up with all of this on his
3 own. But looking at the records between the time of the
4 Iowa Caucus and his withdrawal from the race, Mr. Edwards is
5 clearly in touch with Andrew Young or someone in the group
6 in California 63 times, and some of these calls lasted well
7 over an hour. This is John Edwards trying to keep a lid on
8 the affair while trying to win the presidential primary
10 But as January wore on, the campaign faltered.
11 Edwards came in second in Iowa. He didn't do well in New
12 Hampshire, Nevada, or in South Carolina, and by January 31,
13 2008, Mr. Edwards suspended his campaign.
14 But the plan had worked. The affair and the
15 pregnancy had been kept quiet, and it allowed Mr. Edwards to
16 change his focus. He still wanted to be a player on the
17 national scene. If he couldn't be president, he would
18 settle for vice president or -- that position on the ticket;
19 and if that didn't work, he'd be glad to be the attorney
20 general, and ultimately he wanted a seat on the Supreme
21 Court. Either way, he would get to play a big role in the
22 national stage, and his change of focus was immediate.
23 As Leo Hindery told you during his testimony, on
24 the night John Edwards finished second in the Iowa Caucuses,
25 Edwards directed him to make a deal with the Obama Campaign.
1 I'll get out of the race, Mr. Edwards told them through
2 Mr. Hindery, if you make me the vice presidential nominee.
3 That generous offer was politely declined.
4 Edwards tried again toward the end of January. He
5 asked Hindery to contact the Obama Campaign again and tried
6 to make a deal. I'll take the position of attorney general
7 in return for my support. Again, the offer was declined.
8 But by this time Mr. Edwards, according to Mr. Hindery, had
9 opened up his own channels of communication to the Obama and
10 Clinton Campaigns. He would deal with whichever candidate
11 could advance his ambitions.
12 In June, Edwards met with Andrew Young in
13 Washington, D.C., at the River Inn, and he talked about his
14 chances of becoming the vice presidential nominee. When
15 former speech writer Wendy Button came in for her meeting
16 that same day, he talked with her, too, about his
17 opportunity to get on the ticket.
18 In that same month, Edwards, out of the blue,
19 invited Tim Toben to dinner. They sat down to eat, and
20 Edwards immediately launched into a review of the latest
21 polls, and he made the point that he and Senator Obama would
22 make an unbeatable team. Toben was shocked. Knowing what
23 he knew, he couldn't believe that Mr. Edwards still
24 seriously thought he could run on the Democratic ticket, and
25 Toben let the Obama Campaign know that they should take the
1 rumors of infidelity seriously. Don't write them off as
2 tabloid trash, he told them.
3 But Mr. Edwards kept pushing. He went to Spain
4 and gave a speech, which was interpreted as a clear
5 statement that he didn't want to be vice president.
6 Realizing that the speech had been misunderstood, he
7 immediately asked Wendy Button to get word to the Obama
8 Campaign that he was still available. He was still
9 interested. He wanted to do whatever it took to help them
10 and to get on the ticket.
11 At the time of his Nightline interview, after
12 being caught in the Beverly Hilton, he still believed he
13 could be attorney general. He talked to Jennifer Palmieri
14 about it, and she was amazed. She told him that he would
15 never be the attorney general, not now, not with all the
16 lies and deceit, not after cheating on his wife. Palmieri
17 told you, he was delusional.
18 John Edwards' quest to be president was what had
19 brought the Youngs and Rielle Hunter to California, but it
20 was his effort to become vice president or attorney general
21 or to play some other role on the national scene that kept
22 the scheme going after Mr. Edwards suspended his campaign in
23 late January of 2008.
24 Now, the defense has questioned a number of
25 witnesses about whether someone runs for the vice
1 presidential nomination or for attorney general, and, of
2 course, they don't. There is no obligation to report your
3 interest in those positions to the FEC, but that doesn't
4 make the information irrelevant. You have to understand
5 what John Edwards wanted in order to understand why the
6 scheme went on after he suspended his campaign, and you have
7 to understand what John Edwards wanted so that the defense
8 doesn't get away with suggesting that this was just all
9 about friends trying to help poor Andrew and poor Rielle.
10 You have to understand that the whole scheme was cooked up
11 to support John Edwards' political ambitions.
12 And so what had been promised as a short term
13 assignment now seemed to have no end, and the Youngs were
14 frustrated. They were away from home. There was no real
15 plan. There seemed to be no way to end this charade.
16 Rielle was hard to live with, and Mr. Edwards wasn't in
17 contact with the Youngs much now. They didn't know what was
18 going on, and John Edwards' daughter had been born.
19 So the Youngs went to Fred Baron. In a couple of
20 meetings in Dallas, Fred Baron told the Youngs that they
21 couldn't go home. They couldn't return to Chapel Hill.
22 John Edwards was going to be vice president, attorney
23 general, or something important. You need to finish
24 building your home and sell it and go anywhere else. What
25 we can't have is the Youngs and Ms. Hunter too near Edwards,
1 given the importance of the work he'd be doing in the
3 So they waited to see if John Edwards would be the
4 Democratic nominee for vice president. They waited to see
5 if he'd be selected as attorney general. They waited to see
6 if he would finally tell the truth about the affair, the
7 child, the scheme to cover it all up. They waited and they
9 Now, in all fairness, when the Youngs complained
10 to Mr. Baron in Dallas that they never heard from John
11 Edwards, Mr. Edwards did call. Apparently, much like the
12 staff members from the campaign, Mr. Edwards reminded him to
13 call the Youngs to thank them for their dedication to his
14 cause, and he left them a message when they were in Mexico.
15 After the second meeting with Mr. Baron,
16 Mr. Edwards agreed to meet with Mr. Young at the River Inn.
17 Words were exchanged. Tempers flared. But as Young left
18 there, he was still willing to keep up the charade; and
19 Mr. Edwards, like he always had, promised to make sure
20 Andrew was taken care of, and he promised to stay in touch.
21 Now, for quite some time, Mr. Edwards had been
22 talking about a larger poverty center, a poverty foundation,
23 and he hoped to fund it with Bunny Mellon's money. It would
24 provide him with a platform to travel, make speeches, and
25 lead the way on this issue, and Edwards and Young had
1 discussed it as a way to ensure that Andrew was taken care
3 Edwards talked to lots of people about his idea.
4 Two, in particular, clearly remembered this plan. At dinner
5 with Tim Toben and in talking with Wendy Button, Edwards
6 told them of his plans for a poverty foundation. He told
7 Toben that Bunny Mellon would support this effort to the
8 tune of $50 million. With Button, he wasn't as specific,
9 but he made it clear that Mellon would provide the financial
10 backing. Of course, by the time that Andrew Young was ready
11 to publish his book, John Edwards had told both Toben and
12 Button that it was really Andrew Young's idea to steal this
13 money from Mrs. Mellon. He had forgotten about those prior
15 But during the spring and summer of 2008,
16 Mr. Edwards had spoken to Mrs. Mellon about the foundation.
17 He wanted her to provide funding, and he wanted to name it
18 after her father or grandfather, and he even asked Bryan
19 Huffman to sit on the board of directors, no doubt to ensure
20 Mrs. Mellon's continued support.
21 But when Andrew Young had suggested that she
22 donate 40 to $50 million, Mrs. Mellon got upset. She
23 complained to Huffman, who let Andrew Young know she wasn't
24 happy. Mr. Young was surprised. He had called her
25 financial advisor, Mr. Starr, just as Mellon told him to do,
1 and Mr. Starr had been enthusiastic about the idea.
2 But Young passed the information along to
3 Mr. Edwards who called Mrs. Mellon to smooth things over.
4 He told her that he was not aware that Andrew Young had
5 called asking for so much money. He didn't want her money
6 for the foundation. When Mr. Huffman reported this
7 conversation from Mrs. Mellon's side, Mr. Young just
8 laughed. Just call me Throw-Me-Under-The-Bus-Andrew, he
10 And Edwards call with Mellon did smooth things
11 over, so much so that John Edwards went to see Mrs. Mellon
12 on August 16, 2008, after he was caught in California and
13 after he went on Nightline on August 8. He went to see
14 Bunny to get a commitment from her about the poverty
15 foundation, and he was still willing to make sure that
16 Mr. Young was taken care of. Listen to the recording from
17 Mr. Young's voice mail from the evening of August 12, 2008.
18 (Audio recording played.)
19 MR. HIGDON: That's when we'll do our work,
20 including the work about you, and making sure you're, uh,
21 protected and included. Keep your head up, pal. You can do
23 Here was the payoff for all the Youngs had done
24 for Mr. Edwards, and it was all going to be paid for with
25 Mrs. Mellon's money, just as Mr. Edwards planned, and just
1 as he explained to Tim Toben and Wendy Button. But Alex
2 Forger stood in the way.
3 As Edwards cultivated Mrs. Mellon's support, he
4 didn't know that Forger had become suspicious about the
5 furniture business that Mellon and Bryan Huffman were
6 running. Forger was aware of the bounced October 2007 check
7 for $150,000. He became concerned when Mrs. Mellon wanted
8 to know how to spell 175,000 when writing a check in
9 November of 2007.
10 When he reviewed her personal checking account, he
11 realized that something was wrong. Hundreds of thousands of
12 dollars going to Bryan Huffman for deposit into the account
13 of Cheri Pfister. These could present tax consequences, and
14 they could be violations of the law. Indeed, he'd had to
15 remind Mrs. Mellon of the rules as she wrote that $175,000
16 check. He was concerned about the campaign finance laws.
17 In May of 2008, at an event in New York City,
18 Mr. Forger talked with Edwards and asked him only two
19 questions. Do you know Bryan Huffman, and have you seen
20 Andrew Young lately? Not enough to really let Mr. Edwards
21 know of his concerns, and Mr. Edwards wasn't slowed down
22 even a little bit.
23 But in July of 2008, everything changed.
24 Mr. Edwards went to the Hilton in Beverly Hills to see
25 Ms. Hunter and his newborn child, and photographers and
1 reporters were there, and they caught him. Finally, the
2 event that would have destroyed his presidential campaign,
3 the event which the Edwards -- which Mr. Edwards, Mr. Young,
4 Mrs. Young, and Mr. Baron had worked so hard to avoid had
5 happened, and it was all over the news. And who did John
6 Edwards call? Andrew Young.
7 Mr. Morgan if you'd play Government's Exhibit 791.
8 (Recording, Government's Exhibit 791, played.)
9 MR. HIGDON: While we're on this call, let me ask
10 you, who's in charge of this relationship? Andrew Young or
11 John Edwards? Do you really think that Andrew Young is the
12 one who's telling John Edwards what to do? Just listen to
13 his voice. Just listen to the words he chose, the deference
14 he showed to his boss.
15 John Edwards doesn't give up. After this he goes
16 on television to tell the truth. He explains that he had a
17 short affair with Ms. Hunter that happened while his wife's
18 cancer was in remission. He denies the child could possibly
19 be his, and he points the finger at Andrew Young. He denies
20 all knowledge about any money being used to support Hunter
21 and the baby. I had nothing to do with any money being paid
22 and had no knowledge of any money being paid. He said, I
23 have not talked to Fred about this.
24 We all now know that Mr. Edwards was lying
25 throughout that interview. The affair was not a one time
1 thing. The child is, in fact, John Edwards', and he knew
2 about the money and the effort to hide Hunter and the baby
3 based upon the testimony of Andrew Young, Cheri Young, John
4 Davis and Tim Toben. And we can easily conclude that he was
5 not telling the truth when he said he hadn't been in touch
6 with Mr. Baron about the money, which was paid.
7 Mr. Morgan, if you would put up the slide showing
8 Exhibit 765A, 766A and 770. These are exhibits that deal
9 with phone numbers, which testimony and exhibits show are
10 connected to John Edwards and Fred Baron. You can see those
11 numbers on the screen, and when you deliberate, I urge you
12 to take a look at these three exhibits. When you analyze
13 these exhibits for the days leading up to the Nightline
14 interview, you will see that in the three days before the
15 August 8 interview, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Baron called each
16 other 16 times, including a call on the very morning the
17 interview was taped.
18 And this pattern repeats itself around key events
19 in the summer of 2008. For example, between July 22nd and
20 July 26, the days after Edwards is caught at the Beverly
21 Hilton, Edwards and Baron call each other 12 times. And we
22 have Government's Exhibit 33T, the voice mail from Baron to
23 Young telling Young it's going to be a miserable three or
24 four days, but there's no evidence, so this thing goes away.
25 No evidence of what?
1 Between the Beverly Hilton incident and the
2 Nightline interview, a period of just about 17 days, there
3 are 67 calls between Baron and Edwards, just on the phone
4 numbers we know about. And on the day before and after the
5 day -- excuse me, and on the day before and the day of the
6 car ride between Edwards and Young in Chapel Hill where
7 Edwards tells Young there'll be no foundation, there are
8 eight calls between Baron and Edwards.
9 So why does Edwards tell ABC News that he knows
10 nothing about Fred's involvement in the scheme to hide
11 Rielle and protect the campaign? Surely these calls raise a
12 real inference that Edwards and Baron are talking about the
13 unraveling plan in these phone calls, and he lies to ABC,
14 because if he admits knowing about the scheme, which was
15 clearly for his benefit, he's admitting his guilt.
16 Now, after the ABC interview, things go downhill
17 pretty quickly. In July and early August, Wendy Button,
18 Edwards' speechwriter who'd been working on his speech for
19 the Democratic National Convention, was told that Edwards
20 would not be speaking at the convention, and Mr. Forger was
21 back in the picture.
22 Like everyone else, he'd learned about the affair
23 and he was aware of the Nightline interview and that only
24 made him more concerned. In early August, after the
25 interview, Mr. Forger called Bryan Huffman. Huffman again
1 explained the process by which Mrs. Mellon had provided this
2 $725,000 to Mr. Edwards and that the money had been sent to
3 Huffman because Mrs. Mellon did not want to send the check
4 to Andrew Young.
5 After talking with Bryan Huffman about the
6 furniture business, Forger called Fred Baron, the national
7 fundraiser, for Mr. Edwards' campaign. He told Baron of his
8 concerns and Baron immediately shifted the blame to Andrew
9 Young, and within the day, Edwards was on the phone with
10 Forger denying any knowledge which came from Mrs. Mellon --
11 of the money which came from Mrs. Mellon to support the
12 Youngs, Rielle Hunter or her baby. And he said, Andrew
13 Young should pay the money back.
14 He abandoned his most loyal supporter and aid just
15 as Andrew had jokingly predicted when talking with Mr.
16 Huffman -- talking with Huffman, Edwards threw him under the
17 bus. You heard Forger talk about that, and you heard
18 Mr. Moylan talk about that. Immediately Edwards began
19 pointing the finger at Young, and it was pretty easy. The
20 money was in Andrew's account. Young had claimed paternity
21 publicly. Young was isolated and Bunny would never
22 believe -- would always believe whatever John Edwards told
24 So on a lonely road near Edwards' home in Chapel
25 Hill, Edwards made it clear he would do the driving this
1 time. He told Young how hard things had been lately,
2 complained about his home life. He told him the foundation
3 idea was dead. Mrs. Mellon wouldn't provide the funds and,
4 therefore, he couldn't take care of Andrew as he'd always
5 promised, and then he turned to Young and said, that money
6 from Bunny, I didn't know anything about it. Young knew it
7 was over. The finger was pointing at him.
8 Now, let's talk a little bit about the charges in
9 this case. As you know, Mr. Edwards is charged with six
10 violations of the federal campaign laws. As Judge Eagles
11 has told you, he's charged with conspiracy to violate the
12 campaign finance laws; four charges dealing with the
13 acceptance and receipt of excessive campaign contributions
14 from Mrs. Mellon in 2007 and 2008, and from Mr. Baron also
15 in 2007 and 2008; and he's finally charged with false
16 statements in conjunction with the filing of the FEC reports
17 that should have revealed the illegal campaign contributions
18 from Mrs. Mellon and Mr. Baron.
19 Now, let's quickly look at each charge. I'm going
20 to start with Count One, conspiracy, even though it's a
21 little bit later in your form. In order to find the
22 defendant guilty of this charge, you have to find that the
23 government has proven three things beyond a reasonable
25 First, you have to find that two or more people
1 joined into an unlawful agreement to violate the campaign
2 finance laws, and here the evidence is clear. When
3 Mr. Edwards and Mr. Young decided to solicit Mrs. Mellon and
4 Mr. Baron to help hide Ms. Hunter from the media and prevent
5 damage to the campaign, they made the unlawful agreement the
6 law prohibits. And Mr. Baron joined that agreement when he
7 agreed to begin moving Hunter and the Youngs around the
8 country to hide them from the media to avoid damage to the
10 Secondly, you have to find that the defendant
11 knowingly and wilfully became a member of the conspiracy.
12 Here the evidence clearly shows that Mr. Edwards was well
13 aware of the campaign finance rules, and he'd applied them
14 and used them for years in the various federal campaigns
15 he'd run. He regularly raised money from donors and could
16 talk to them knowledgeably about the rules when he asked
17 them to include their spouses and grown children and when he
18 asked them to max out.
19 And when he and Young decided to approach
20 Mrs. Mellon, John Edwards was the one who told Young to tell
21 her that it was for a personal matter, so as not to violate
22 the campaign finance rules. Mr. Edwards knew enough about
23 the campaign finance rules to create a scheme to try to work
24 around those rules, and the scheme that was created itself,
25 is evidence of the knowing and wilful violation of the law.
1 The scheme to move the money from Mrs. Mellon to
2 Bryan Huffman to Cheri Young was designed to accomplish
3 several goals. It was designed to keep the affair quiet so
4 the public wouldn't find out. It was designed to make sure
5 the funds were kept away from the campaign, which would have
6 to report it, and it was designed to take in enough money to
7 support and hide Hunter without the limits imposed by those
8 government restrictions.
9 And the same is true when he contacted Fred Baron
10 and the scheme to move the Youngs and Hunter was developed.
11 He clearly knew what the law required and he chose a course
12 with the intent -- a course of conduct with the intent to do
13 what the law forbids.
14 And, ladies and gentlemen, he admitted he knew
15 about it. He admitted it to Wendy Button when the two of
16 them were working on a draft statement during the summer of
17 2009. He told her that he had known about the monies that
18 Fred and others had provided at that -- at the time it was
19 happening. He knew what they were doing but, of course, he
20 tried to run away from it by saying he didn't approve of all
21 the ways it happened.
22 Now, the third thing you have to find when
23 considering the conspiracy charge is that someone in the
24 conspiracy committed at least one overt act in furtherance
25 of the illegal agreement, and that one act was committed in
1 the Middle District of North Carolina. And you will see 14
2 examples listed in the indictment. You've heard evidence
3 about each of these events, and you can easily conclude that
4 all of them did occur. And, as you know, much of the
5 evidence showing the agreement, and how it was carried out,
6 shows that it was -- it occurred here in the Middle
8 Much of the plan was set up here with phone calls
9 during which at least one person was in the Chapel Hill
10 area. Mrs. Mellon's checks were sent here, and most of them
11 were deposited here, so venue seems to be clearly
13 Now, for Counts Two through Five, the elements are
14 the same as to those four. These counts are divided this
15 way because the statute with which we're dealing determines
16 criminal activity based upon the calendar year, so
17 Mr. Edwards is accused of receiving illegal campaign
18 contributions from Mrs. Mellon in 2007, the charge for the
19 money Mrs. Mellon gave Mr. Edwards in 2008, the charge for
20 the money Mr. Baron spent in 2007 and a charge for the money
21 Mr. Baron spent in 2008.
22 As Judge Eagles will explain it, you have to find
23 the following things beyond a reasonable doubt:
24 First, you must find that Mr. Edwards was a
25 candidate for federal office during the time period charged.
1 And there's really no question about that. All the
2 witnesses agree on that and the parties. Mr. Edwards and
3 the government have stipulated that he was a candidate for
4 president during the charged time period.
5 Second, you have to find that Mr. Edwards accepted
6 or received a contribution from a person totaling in excess
7 of the $23,000 [sic] limit with respect to the primary or
8 general election. And here -- excuse me, it has to total up
9 to $25,000, and here you have to look at why the
10 contributions were given. The question is whether the
11 monies that Mr. Mellon gave -- that Mrs. Mellon gave was
12 given for the purpose of influencing a federal election, and
13 they clearly were.
14 Mrs. Mellon made her intentions quite clear. She
15 made them clear whenever she spoke to friends, family and
16 staff. She made them clear when she spoke with Mr. Forger.
17 She made them clear when she gave more than $6 million to
18 Mr. Edwards' various organizations. She made it clear when
19 she wrote Mr. Young in April of 2007 because of the haircut
20 mess. She made it clear when she wrote her checks and
21 talked with Mr. Young and Mr. Huffman, and Mrs. Mellon made
22 her intentions clear when Mr. Forger and others found out
23 about the checks that she was writing. She wanted John
24 Edwards to be elected president, and she was willing to work
25 around those pesky government restrictions to get him
2 The same is true in Counts Four and Five with
3 respect to Mr. Baron, and Mr. Baron's actions are equally
4 telling. He really began helping Mr. Edwards deal with
5 Ms. Hunter at least a couple of months before the December
6 plan to move the Youngs and Ms. Hunter out of North
7 Carolina. And the argument which Jennifer Palmieri
8 witnessed in the hotel room in Iowa in October of 2007,
9 Mr. Baron made it quite clear that Rielle Hunter was
10 unpredictable and that the friendship he and his wife and
11 developed with her was designed to insure she didn't start
12 talking to the media. And then, just two months later,
13 Mr. Baron begins to lay out tens of thousands of dollars to
14 cover for Mr. Edwards in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses.
15 And he told Mr. Edwards that the media wouldn't be able to
16 find Ms. Hunter because he was moving her around.
17 Clearly Mr. Baron, like Ms. Mellon, was willing to
18 do whatever it took to get Mr. Edwards elected, and in both
19 case, their monies were given with the intention of
20 influencing a federal election. You must find that the
21 monies that were given by Mrs. Mellon and Mr. Baron totaled
22 more than $25,000 in 2007 and in 2008, depending upon the
23 year listed in the appropriate counts.
24 For Mrs. Mellon, she wrote all her checks in 2007
25 except the one for $200,000. So in 2007 she gave $525,000,
1 and in 2008 she gave 200,000. That's for both of the years,
2 Mrs. Mellon was many times over the $2,300 limit and well
3 over the $25,000 requirement. Likewise, Mr. Baron gave
4 substantial amounts in 2007 and 2008. All you have to do is
5 look at the chart contained in the conspiracy count of the
6 indictment to total up Mr. Baron's amounts for each of the
7 two years, and you'll find that they exceed the legal limit
8 by a long shot.
9 And, finally, you must find that the defendant
10 acting knowingly and wilfully. Here, again, the evidence is
11 clear. Mr. Edwards certainly was well versed in the
12 campaign finance laws and the limits they imposed on
13 individual donors. He suggested a manner of working around
14 those limits when it came to Mrs. Mellon, and he relied on
15 the way the scheme was set up in order to avoid detection.
16 He clearly knew the law, and he decided to violate it in
17 order to salvage his campaign.
18 Now, you also have to find that some portion of
19 the crimes related to Counts Two through Five took place
20 here in the Middle District, and the evidence supports that
21 finding. As to Mrs. Mellon's money in 2007, it was all
22 received and deposited here in the Middle District. And as
23 to the checks, which were deposited in 2008, they were
24 received initially here in the Middle District by Federal
25 Express, and they were part of the plan which had been
1 developed in 2007.
2 As for Mr. Baron, venue is based on the phone
3 conversations between Mr. Baron and Mr. Young. You'll
4 recall that Mr. Young was in his home in Chapel Hill when he
5 spoke to Mr. Baron about moving his family and Ms. Hunter
6 out of the state, and it is from here that they left that
7 early December morning when Tim Toben met them to drive them
8 to the airport.
9 Now, finally, you have to consider Count Six.
10 Count Six is based on the idea that because every candidate
11 has an obligation to report all of the contributions he
12 receives and all the money he spends, the failure to
13 disclose the monies, so that they can be included in the
14 report and disclosed to the Federal Election Commission,
15 means that the reports from the campaign are incomplete and
16 false and constitute a false statement under the law.
17 Here, we must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
18 the defendant knowingly concealed or covered up the
19 contribution by trick, scheme or device, as described in the
20 indictment. Here, the defendant and other members of the
21 conspiracy constructed a pretty elaborate system to get
22 Mrs. Mellon's money to the Young so that Hunter could be
23 taken care of and kept quiet, and Mr. Baron's support was
24 offered in a secretive way, so as to insure the same kind of
1 And the defendant was aware of and encouraged both
2 donors. He talk with Mrs. Mellon beforehand, and the scheme
3 was developed, and he talked with Baron and Young to arrange
4 the escape from North Carolina and the scheme to hide Hunter
5 around the country. He listened to Mr. Baron on the plane
6 with John Davis as Baron assured him that the plan was
8 Next, you must find that the person from whom the
9 fact was concealed, here, the treasurer of Mr. Edwards'
10 campaign, had a legal duty to disclose the information and
11 that the defendant knew that, and here the analysis is
12 pretty simple. Because the monies that Mrs. Mellon and
13 Mr. Baron provided were for the purpose of influencing a
14 federal election, they are contributions under the law and,
15 therefore, as we've discussed, they must be reported to the
16 Federal Election Commission.
17 And as you heard Ms. Haggard testify, it was the
18 campaign treasurer's responsibility to report all
19 contributions to the FEC. Mr. Edwards was well versed in
20 the campaign reporting process when it came to the Federal
21 Election Commission and the reporting of contributions and
22 expenditures. He participated in that process for a long
23 time, and he'd been burned by it. This is how the whole
24 haircut issue got started.
25 Next, you have to find that the facts concealed,
1 that is the donations by Mellon and Baron, was material to
2 the Federal Election Commission, and here the word material
3 means something that has the effect of influencing the
4 action of the FEC, and that's pretty clear as well.
5 The FEC regulates the manner in which campaigns
6 are run and the role of the money in the campaign, as you
7 heard from Patricia Young, is at the center of what they do.
8 It is why they require these reports. It's why they review
9 these reports, and these reports are the FEC's chief method
10 of informing the media and the public about the influences
11 on each candidate. And the failure of the defendant to
12 report Mrs. Mellon's and Mr. Baron's money goes to the heart
13 of the FEC's ability do its job.
14 And, finally, you have to find that the matter
15 involved was within the jurisdiction of the executive branch
16 of the United States, and both parties agree and have
17 stipulated to that element. And as with other counts, you
18 have to determine that some portion of the crime took place
19 here in the Middle District. And Lora Haggard clearly
20 answered that question for us when she told you that the
21 reports were filed from the campaign's Chapel Hill office.
22 Those are the elements that you have to find as to
23 each count in order to convict, and we believe that
24 overwhelming evidence, as Mr. Harbach predicted for you on
25 the day that this case began, has been presented which would
1 allow you to convict on each of these counts.
2 And before I sit down, I want to quickly cover
3 some of the issues which the defense has raised in its
4 opening statement and its cross-examination of the
5 witnesses. First, let's talk about Andrew Young. From the
6 beginning of this trial, defense counsel have been trying to
7 make this case about Mr. Young rather than about
8 Mr. Edwards. They noted that if they can focus you on
9 Mr. Young and if they can convince you that Mr. Young is the
10 instigator of this scheme, then you're unlikely to convict
11 Mr. Edwards, and they've spent days trying to make Mr. Young
12 look like a liar and a thief.
13 But you'll recall in his opening statement
14 Mr. Harbach told you that you'd dislike Mr. Young. He told
15 that you Mr. Young had done a lot of things wrong and his
16 hands weren't clean. Mr. Harbach was right, but let's take
17 a careful look at Mr. Young. Andrew Young came into this
18 courtroom, sat in that witness stand, head bowed, nervous
19 and ashamed about all the things he'd done as a part of this
20 case, but he looked you in the eye, he told you the story
21 and he took everything Mr. Lowell had to offer.
22 He admitted to committing a crime. He said he
23 knew when Mr. Edwards asked him to put Bunny Mellon's money
24 into his account and take care of Hunter that he was
25 breaking the campaign finance laws, and his wife essentially
1 said the same thing.
2 He told you that he agreed to falsely claim
3 paternity for a child he didn't father and for an affair he
4 didn't have. In doing that, he humiliated himself and his
5 wife. He told you that he took his family on the run when
6 the media had got too close, another pretty shameful piece
7 of information.
8 And he told you he kept Bunny Mellon's money when
9 the scheme fell apart after Mr. Edwards was caught at the
10 Beverly Hilton. He should have given it back. He should
11 never have had it. He admitted it. It's been plowed into
12 his house.
13 Let me pause right here for a moment. The defense
14 spent hours cross-examining both Mrs. and Mrs. Young about
15 their finances, even after they admitted that they kept
16 hundreds of thousands of dollars of Mrs. Mellon's money, and
17 the defense put on an expert witness to go over the very
18 same thing.
19 But what the expert, Mr. Walsh, told you was very
20 interesting. He told you that the Youngs started into this
21 whole mess with something around a million dollars in their
22 own accounts. They were hardly the destitute money grubbers
23 the defense described; but, nevertheless, the Youngs
24 admitted that they took money they shouldn't have. We all
25 agree on that, but let's talk about the money for just a
2 The defense has focused on the money which went
3 through the Youngs' accounts. First there's the $300,000
4 Mr. Baron sent to the Youngs' builder. Based on the
5 testimony you've heard, it's clear that this money was
6 designed to help the Youngs quickly complete their house and
7 move away from North Carolina.
8 There is no question the Youngs didn't tell
9 Mr. Baron about the monies from Bunny Mellon, and they
10 should have, but it was John Edwards to told Andrew Young to
11 keep that information to himself. Fred is the short-term
12 solution. Bunny is the long-term solution, Mr. Edwards
13 said. And Mr. Baron did help out in the short-term. When
14 things got hot, he moved the Youngs and Hunter out of North
15 Carolina, and he spent thousand and thousand and thousands
16 of dollars to accomplish that mission. But none of that
17 money went through the Youngs' accounts. In fact, as we
18 discussed earlier, that was a key part of the plan.
19 But it's the long-term solution that's the problem
20 for the Youngs. It's the source of all the money in their
21 account, and as the plan was first envisioned, Mr. Edwards
22 intended to use Mrs. Mellon's $725,000 to hide Ms. Hunter
23 and conceal the affair and pregnancy until the election was
24 over and until his wife passed away.
25 But things didn't go as first thought.
1 Mercifully, Mrs. Edwards survived for quite a while, and
2 Mr. Edwards' political ambitions lived beyond the end of his
3 presidential campaign as he tried to maneuver to become vice
4 president or attorney general, and the money was available
5 to hide and take care of Hunter until the summer of 2008.
6 That's when the plan fell apart.
7 First, the Youngs couldn't stand to live with
8 Ms. Hunter any longer. To keep them happy, and Mrs. Hunter
9 quiet, Mr. Baron moved Hunter to another house in California
10 and then Edwards got caught at the Beverly Hilton in late
11 July. It was at that point that the plan came to an end.
12 It was at that point that the Youngs came home and, shortly
13 thereafter, Mr. Edwards turned on them.
14 They found themselves on the defense with people
15 making all kinds of accusations about them. Mr. Young
16 needed to finish his home. He had no job and nowhere to
17 run. When he met with Leo Hindery months later, he was a
18 broken man with no job prospects and no way to support his
19 family, and he didn't return what was left of Mrs. Mellon's
20 money. He should have, but he didn't, and I think you can
21 understand why.
22 But Mr. Young did far more, as you know, than just
23 these things. His mistakes cover a lot of other ground,
24 too. He should never have pledged his undying support for
25 John Edwards, or any other politician, in 1998 when he saw
1 him speak at the trial lawyers event. He should never have
2 sacrificed time with his young family just to meet John
3 Edwards' ever need and whim. He should never have let the
4 Edwardses use him as a gopher or personal servant. He
5 should have had more self respect. He should never have
6 started drinking because of the stress associated with the
7 demands on his time placed by Mr. Edwards.
8 He should never have stormed out of the house on
9 his anniversary and left his crying wife to wonder if he was
10 coming back all because of John Edwards. He should never
11 have moved closer to the Edwardses so that he could be even
12 more indispensable to them. When he learned Mr. Edwards was
13 so reckless as to have an affair while running for
14 president, he should have confronted Mr. Edwards as Josh
15 Brumberger did, or quit the campaign like Peter Scher did,
16 or drop his support like Tim Toben did.
17 He shouldn't have continued helping Mr. Edwards
18 fool the voters. When the media came calling, he should
19 never have agreed to help Mr. Edwards hide and support
20 Rielle Hunter. He should have told Mr. Edwards no when he
21 asked him to find a donor who could provide support for
22 Ms. Hunter. He should have refused to get involved with
23 Mrs. Mellon's checks. He should have told Edwards no when
24 he asked that Hunter move in with the Youngs and when
25 Edwards made them leave their home, so he could visit with
2 He should have said no when Edwards asked him to
3 claim paternity. How could he even ask his wife to allow
4 such a thing? He should have refused Mr. Edwards' and
5 Mr. Baron's demands that they leave their home, go on the
6 run and hide Ms. Hunter and the baby, and he had no business
7 volunteering to make up a lie when Edwards was caught in
9 But, ladies and gentlemen, Andrew Young is not the
10 manipulating mastermind that the defense would have you
11 believe. In their opening statement they argued to you that
12 it was John Edwards who was being manipulated by Andrew
13 Young. It was John Edwards who had no choice but to do what
14 Andrew Young wanted him to do because Andrew Young had the
15 dirt on Mr. Edwards. That's simply an unbelievable
17 Just listen to Andrew Young talking on the phone
18 with John Edwards when Edwards was caught in the Beverly
19 Hilton on July -- in July of 2008 if you want to know who's
20 in charge. It's Andrew Young begging to help the boss, even
21 after all the boss had put him through.
22 When you analyze the facts of this case, when you
23 follow the money as the defense suggested you do, you can
24 easily conclude that John Edwards is the one who was really
25 benefiting from all of this. It was John Edwards'
1 irresponsible actions that caused all this. It was John
2 Edwards' affair which jeopardized the campaign. It was John
3 Edwards' mistress who the media was chasing. It was John
4 Edwards whose campaign would be destroyed if the affair
5 became public. It was John Edwards who benefited if the
6 secret was kept.
7 I finally -- finally I want to talk to you about
8 Mr. Edwards' desire to hide the affair and the pregnancy
9 from his wife and how that should factor into your decision.
10 The defense has tried to leave you with the impression that
11 if you find that Mr. Edwards was motivated by any reason in
12 addition to the protection of his campaign, you must acquit
13 him, but that is not the law.
14 Judge Eagles will remind you that people rarely
15 act with a single purpose in mind. There is no question
16 that no one wants their spouse to learn of an extramarital
17 affair, but the evidence in this case clearly demonstrates
18 that John Edwards' primary reason for taking these
19 contributions and hiding his mistress from the public, was
20 to prevent damage to his campaign.
21 His wife already knew about the affair when Mrs.
22 Mellon's checks started coming in. His wife had already
23 been involved in the conversations in October in the Iowa
24 hotel room, and there are simpler ways to hide an affair
25 from your wife. The affair had been going on for months
1 before the Mellon and Baron monies started rolling in. But
2 in mid-2007, the scheme was necessary because the election
3 season was heating up. He was just a few months away from
4 Iowa, and he couldn't talk any chances.
5 The media was more focused and paying more and
6 more attention to him, and by the fall of 2007, Ms. Hunter
7 was running from the media. They had stalked her in New
8 Jersey, they had photographed her in Raleigh and the
9 elections were fast approaching. Therefore, Mr. Edwards
10 accepted and received the monies from Mrs. Mellon and Mr.
11 Baron and he accepted those monies because of his campaign,
12 and that's why there is a violation of the law.
13 And last, ladies and gentlemen, you may recall
14 that several of the defense witnesses talked about John
15 Edwards' platform and his speeches around the country.
16 Repeatedly those witnesses in response to questions about
17 Mr. Edwards' agenda talked about two Americas, to use
18 Mr. Edwards' political catchphrase. He talked about the two
19 Americas, one of those with money, power and influence, and
20 the other with little money, little power, and little
21 influence. The campaign finance laws are designed to insure
22 that those two Americas are brought together at election
23 time. The campaign finance laws are designed to limit the
24 influence that the first America has on the second America,
25 and John Edwards forgot his own rhetoric.
1 He had no problem dividing the two Americas when
2 it suited his purpose. He had no problem allowing hundreds
3 of thousand of dollars of illegal campaign money into his
4 campaign. He had no problem trying to hide important
5 information about his supporters and the amount of money
6 they'd given to him when it suited his needs, and that can't
7 happen under our election laws.
8 And so, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you, as you
9 deliberate, and as you apply those laws to John Edwards,
10 that you find him guilty of all counts in the indictment.
11 Thank you.
12 Thank you, Your Honor.
13 THE COURT: All right, ladies and gentlemen, I'll
14 give you your morning break and excuse you to the jury room.
15 Please remember not to discuss the case or form any opinion.
16 Leave everything in your chairs, and we'll bring you back
17 out in about 15 minutes for the defense argument.
18 (The jury departed the courtroom at 11:08 a.m.)
19 THE COURT: Mr. Lowell, if your argument can take
20 us to, you know 12:30, around in there, that should work out
21 pretty well.
22 MR. LOWELL: I clocked the government at 90
23 minutes; is that right?
24 THE COURT: Maybe a couple minutes shy; but, yeah,
25 right around in there.
1 MR. LOWELL: I'd like to set up with your
3 THE COURT: Yes, absolutely. Anything else we
4 need to do before we take a short break? All right. We'll
5 take a 15-minute recess.
6 (The Court recessed at 11:09 a.m.)
7 (The Court was called to order at 11:23 a.m.)
8 (The defendant was present.)
9 THE COURT: Anything we need do before the jury
10 comes? No? All set up? All right. Bring the jury in.
11 (The jury returned to the courtroom at 11:23 a.m.)
12 THE COURT: Okay. I meant to move that TV -- that
13 screen right there in the jury box because it's blocking my
14 view of some of the jurors, and I forgot to do it at the
15 recess. Yeah, that's better. Thank you. Can you get the
16 stuff off the -- all right. Good. I like to be able to see
17 you in case you're telling me that you can't see or hear.
18 All right. I believe we're ready to proceed with
19 defense closing argument. I've asked Mr. Lowell to take us
20 to somewhere between 12:30 and 12:40. We'll take a lunch
21 break about that time, and then we'll come back and he'll
22 finish his argument after lunch. All right. Go ahead.
23 MR. LOWELL: May it please the Court, counsel,
24 John, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, and ladies and gentlemen. This
25 is a case that should define the difference between somebody
1 committing a wrong and someone committing a crime; someone
2 committing an offense against his wife and his family and
3 committing an offense against the U.S. government; and the
4 difference between a sin and a felony.
5 John Edwards has already pleaded guilty to the
6 wrong, to the offense against his family, and to his sins,
7 and he's going to serve a life sentence for all of those,
8 but he has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by the
9 United States Government, because as many are his moral
10 wrongs, he has not committed a legal one.
11 There have been two books prominently displayed in
12 this courtroom during the last four weeks on the various
13 tables if you noticed. One is the Holy Bible, the other are
14 the criminal laws. These two books have never been on the
15 same table. They were never together, and I think that's a
16 good visual image for you to have in your heads as you view
17 the evidence in this case.
18 In fact, if I could, I would ask that you take two
19 forms into the jury room. On the first, it would not take
20 you long to vote and to agree that John was a bad husband,
21 someone who lied to his family and the public about his
22 affair and its results. And on the other, the one that
23 you'll take, the one on the law, it should not take you much
24 longer to agree that there is not the remotest chance that
25 John did or intended to violate any federal campaign laws,
1 let alone federal felonies, for trying desperately to hide
2 an affair from his wife and his family and anyone else, as
3 people who have affairs do.
4 Now, Mr. Harbach said in his opening, and
5 Mr. Higdon in closing, that the prosecution was not going to
6 make the case about John's moral conduct, about John being
7 that bad husband, but that's not what happened in the
8 courtroom. How many of their witnesses had anything to say
9 about whether John or anyone else thought that there were
10 campaign laws that applied to hiding a mistress? Instead,
11 they called Josh Brumberger, Jeff Harris, Peter Scher, Nick
12 Baldick, Jennifer Palmieri, Christina Reynolds and Matthew
13 Nelson for little more than, did John lie to you about his
14 affair? Were they in hotel rooms? Did Rielle and he travel
15 together? Did he cuss at you when you brought it up?
16 If you focus on the affair, you may not focus on
17 the actual campaign law charges in this case, and if what
18 John did is a federal crime, let alone six felonies, then we
19 better build a lot more courtrooms, hire a lot more
20 prosecutors and build a lot more jails, because the
21 government will always be able to find a way to turn an
22 affair into a crime.
23 Another thing I'd like to start off with, john
24 lied about his affair to keep it a secret in 2006, 2007,
25 2008, 2009 and straight through to the beginning of 2010
1 when he finally admitted that Quinn was his daughter. But
2 the prosecutors want you to take one time period from when
3 Mrs. Hunter was -- Ms. Hunter was pregnant, to the time John
4 ended his campaign, and say that was the purpose of the
5 lies. It was for the election. The fact that he continued
6 to try to keep it out of the media long after January of
7 2008 tells you that's not the case. This was not for the
8 purpose of influencing an election.
9 And one more issue to raise with you first. As
10 you consider the evidence, consider how much of the
11 government's burden, beyond a reasonable doubt, on each
12 element of each charge, depends on what Andrew Young says.
13 Mr. Higdon spent a good deal of time telling you a story.
14 This happened, this happened, John said this, somebody said
15 that, then this happened. And he told that story as if it
16 was completely divorced from the mouth of Andrew Young.
17 You are the judges of who to believe and
18 disbelieve in this case. Judge Eagles to going to tell you
19 that you're the sole judges of that, and she's going to give
20 you a number of instructions how to weigh witnesses'
21 credibility and especially the ones about a witness's bias,
22 motive to lie, manner, connections to a party and how a
23 witness will be affected by the outcome of the case.
24 And she's going instruct you even more to consider
25 a witness's inconsistent statements, and with a cooperator
1 like Andrew Young, she's going to tell you to examine his
2 testimony with greater care, caution and attention. So let
3 me ask you this: It's three weeks from now, and you're in
4 Greensboro walking down the street. You run into Andrew
5 Young. After an awkward moment or two, he offers you a
6 proposal. He says, if you'll give him $1,000 for the week,
7 he'll return it to you with double of your money.
8 Or after a bad storm you're riding down the
9 street, you see a bridge that has had the weather affected,
10 and there's Andrew Young standing in front of the bridge.
11 You're in the car with your family, and you say, what about
12 the bridge? And he says, completely safe, drive your family
13 on through. Would you rely on his word for one of those
14 important decisions in your own life? But that's what the
15 government is asking you to do in this courtroom for their
17 For their case there are specific charges the
18 prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
19 Mr. Higdon went through them and I agree. There are four
20 campaign count charges, Counts Two, Three, Four and Five.
21 The government has to prove each beyond a reasonable doubt
22 that the payments were campaign contributions, that they
23 occurred in what is the Middle District of North Carolina,
24 and the judge will tell you that list, that John knew that
25 the payments would be covered by federal election laws,
1 that's the phrase, knowingly, that John knowingly and
2 wilfully violated that federal election law, and that's as
3 to the substantive counts.
4 In addition, there's Count Six, false FEC reports,
5 and for that the government has to prove beyond a reasonable
6 doubt that the payments were the campaign contributions or
7 else they wouldn't have to be on the form, that John knew
8 that they needed to be on the reports filed by the FEC and
9 that John caused what would be campaign contributions to be
10 omitted from those forms by trick, scheme or device; and,
11 finally, as in all the counts, that John took these actions
12 knowingly and wilfully to violate the law.
13 And then finally as to the conspiracy count, the
14 government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that John
15 and another person made an illegal agreement to break the
16 federal campaign laws by causing either excessive campaign
17 contributions or causing an FEC report; that the payments
18 were actually campaign contributions; that John or another
19 person took an overt act to promote that illegal purpose;
20 and that John knowingly and wilfully violated the federal
21 election law.
22 With that said, I want to show you the clear paths
23 to the not guilty verdicts in this case for which we will
24 ask. You will see first that the payments were not campaign
25 contributions. You will see next that John did not
1 knowingly and wilfully violate any campaign laws in carrying
2 out his affair. You will see that it was good faith for
3 John not to think of any such payments as campaign
4 contributions. You will see there was no illegal agreement
5 or conspiracy between John, Rachel Mellon or Fred Baron.
6 You will see Rachel Mellon's December 2007 and
7 January 2008 checks were not deposited by the Youngs in the
8 Middle District of North Carolina, and the Judge will give
9 you an instruction on how to apply that issue. You will see
10 that Rachel Mellon's December '07 and January '08 checks
11 were not deposited by the Youngs until after the campaign
12 ended, and you will see that Fred Baron's funds were not
13 paid in the Middle District of North Carolina. And,
14 finally, you will see that judge -- I'm sorry, John, did not
15 cause any false reports to be filed with the FEC. One more.
16 The only person who says anything to the contrary is Andrew
18 I am going to divide my argument with you today in
19 two parts. One I'll do now and take us to the lunch break,
20 and in the next part, I will finish, so let me start as
22 There have been 388 government exhibits, 100 from
23 us, hundreds of emails, checks and documents that you have
24 seen entered into evidence, 24 government exhibit -- 24
25 government witnesses and a handful from us; and, of course,
1 you can review any of that and all of that for as long as
2 you'd like. But if you'd like to find one way to decide
3 this entire case in the most direct path possible, Judge
4 Eagles is about to give you that path.
5 It is not about adding up all the times Andrew
6 Young lied. You're going to run out of paper in your
7 notebooks to do that. It is not to figure out how much
8 money Andrew and Cheri Young kept. You'd need a calculator
9 to do that. Every one of the six felony counts that have
10 been brought against John has a high burden of proof. The
11 government has to prove the elements that we have put out,
12 Mr. Higdon has told you about, but they also have to prove
13 beyond reasonable doubt a specific intent that John had.
14 And as Judge Eagles is going to instruct you, that
15 means that he acted intentionally, not out of ignorance,
16 mistake, accident or carelessness, and that he acted with
17 the knowledge that his course of conduct was unlawful and
18 with the intent to do something that the law forbids. She's
19 also going to instruct you that the wilfully part of the
20 law's requirements that the government proves beyond a
21 reasonable doubt requires even more and requires proof
22 beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Edwards acted with a bad
23 purpose to disobey or to disregard the law rather than in
24 good faith.
25 So if you want a path out of all the boxes of
1 evidence, out of the hotel rooms, out of the secret cell
2 phones that Mr. Edwards used to talk to Rielle Hunter
3 without Mrs. Edwards, who you heard monitored the phone
4 bills of the campaign staff, ever finding out, out of the
5 way of the credit cards for baby furniture and the like, you
6 can go right to that element.
7 And what is the evidence that John knew that
8 anything he was doing to hide the affair could be governed
9 by federal campaign laws, let alone that the affair could
10 violate those laws, or that he would not be in good faith to
11 believe otherwise? Sure, he knew there was a $2,300 limit
12 when somebody wrote a check to the John Edwards for
13 President Campaign. That is what the witnesses said.
14 But the prosecution wants you to take that one
15 piece of campaign regulation knowledge out of what FEC
16 Chairman Scott Thomas said were 120 pages of law, 360
17 regulations and 1,000 advisory opinions. The one piece of
18 knowledge that almost anybody in politics has is the $2,300
19 limit or whenever that limit's changed. Prosecutors want
20 you to then take that and apply it to his knowing that a
21 third party paying for a mistress could be a campaign
22 contribution, that it was intended to be that, and that
23 knowing that, John wilfully and deliberately decided to have
24 the people go over that limit because they all knew there
25 was a contribution. And these things the government could
1 never prove, under any standard, let alone proof beyond
2 reasonable doubt, because these things weren't on anyone's
3 radar screen at the time.
4 You don't have to be a campaign law expert to know
5 this. Your common sense can help through the evidence.
6 Affairs, mistresses, pregnancies, OB-GYN's, as opposed to
7 campaign ads, brochures, rallies as campaign contributions
8 to influence the election? But beyond your own common
9 sense, there's actual testimony in the case. Every campaign
10 official, with any knowledge of the rules, Josh Brumberger,
11 who was chief of staff, Nick Baldick, who was that and also
12 a senior advisor, Eileen Mancera, who was the actual finance
13 chair of the campaign, and Lora Haggard, the person in
14 charge of the very reports at issue in this case.
15 Among them, with more than a 100 years of federal
16 campaign law experience, all of them said that the topic of
17 how a third party paying the personal expenses of another
18 third party relationship to an affair would never have come
19 up in a conversation manual, training session that they ever
20 had among themselves and certainly never with John.
21 And who does the government rely on on this
22 critical piece of evidence?
23 THE COURT: Excuse me, I apologize. Are the
24 screens bothering you all? A couple of the jurors are
25 indicating that the screen being on is being distracting to
1 them, so I don't know --
2 MR. LOWELL: There's going to be some slides and
3 exhibits, Your Honor, so --
4 THE COURT: Okay. Was something up there or was
5 it just blue?
6 A VOICE: I'll take care of it.
7 MR. LOWELL: Okay. Thank you.
8 THE COURT: Okay. Thank you. I apologize for
10 MR. LOWELL: No, please, I'm sorry.
11 THE COURT: Go ahead.
12 MR. LOWELL: So who did the government rely on for
13 this critical piece of evidence, that is the make and break
14 of their case, that is Mr. Edwards' purposeful violation of
15 campaign laws? Andrew Young. But remember the only thing
16 he said on that subject, he said that he had four calls and
17 one meeting with John in which the subject of getting funds
18 to hide the affair came up, and Cheri Young said that she
19 overheard one of those conversations.
20 First, I hope, that when that happened, you
21 noticed that even these two, who could shame Bonnie and
22 Clyde, had not worked hard enough to get this part of their
23 story straight. He said, all of this happened before they
24 got the first Mellon check. She said, there was a call and
25 not a last meeting, and it happened between the first check
1 and when she was frozen in fear in a bank parking lot,
2 shaking for more than a hour.
3 And, of course, the timing does not work for that
4 to have occurred, because if you recall, the government
5 presented you their exhibit 549, was a Federal Express
6 package which showed that Mr. Huffman forwarded those checks
7 on June the 14th, for overnight delivery on June the 15th
8 and only arrived therefore on the 15th, the date of the
9 deposit slip. And then the government showed you the
10 deposit slip on the 15th and indicated that the time of
11 the deposit was around noon in the day. For all Andrew and
12 Cheri Young said happened, four calls and a meeting, car
13 rides, last minute call with Mr. Edwards being overheard.
14 That didn't happen in the possibility between the FedEx
15 happening and two hours later.
16 But, even if you credit that, what did they say
17 Mr. Edwards had done and what he had said? They said that
18 Mr. Edwards -- and he said this, he had consulted with
19 several campaign finance experts and that they said that
20 there were no prohibitions of this type of personal gift,
21 and even according to Andrew and Cheri, that it only meant
22 he, John, only mentioned gift taxes. Understand what that
24 And that was also the testimony of Wendy Button,
25 who when she said John was talking to her not then in '07,
1 not in '08, but a year later in '09, said that he had
2 lawyers and others and that they all concurred that these
3 payments were not any violation of campaign laws, and you
4 met one of those lawyers, Wade Smith, and you heard about
5 the other, Jim Cooney.
6 So here's the prosecutor's problem. If you credit
7 the testimony of their star witness, he's very clear that
8 John said there was no legal violation, and that means he
9 certainly did not have any intent to violate the law. He
10 did not enter into a legal conspiracy. He did not decide
11 that he knew the laws and wanted to violate their limits.
12 But if you don't believe Andrew Young that he had that
13 conversation, then that leaves the prosecution with no
14 evidence on this issue. Either way, cannot overcome their
15 burden to show this knowing, wilful violation of the law
16 beyond a reasonable doubt.
17 So what did Mr. Higdon just do? First, he wants
18 you to believe that Andrew Young -- that this conversation
19 between him and John happened. Then he wants you to believe
20 that John actually said that. Then he wants you to believe
21 that John actually meant the opposite, that he thought it
22 was not legal but that it was illegal and, then, they want
23 that possibility and that chain to be their evidence.
24 Judge Eagles is going to remind you about
25 reasonable doubt, but this much is clear. Whenever a
1 prosecutor asks you to take a statement that was never made
2 to begin with, and then conclude that the speaker must have
3 meant the opposite of what the statement says, and then that
4 it happened not just once, but five times according to
5 Andrew Young, and then the prosecutor is forced to ask the
6 witness, wasn't that a possibility as happened, that is the
7 definition of reasonable doubt.
8 And just so that we're as clear on the record as
9 we can be, recall that Andrew Young wrote in two books that,
10 quote, these were perfectly proper and not subject to
11 campaign finance laws and made the same statement on
12 television. But then when he needed to help the government
13 with its case, he came up with that new story about four
14 calls and a meeting and about being scared and about doing
15 it anyway.
16 Do you remember when that happened? I asked him,
17 why didn't you say that to the government the first time you
18 met them in November of '08? Why didn't you say that to the
19 time you met with the FBI in February of '09? Why didn't
20 you say it in your preparation for the grand jury session in
21 June of 2009? And if you recall, I asked him, weren't you
22 in the grand jury for five or six hours and he said no, no,
23 no, it was seven. Why didn't you say it there? Remember
24 what he said? I don't recall. And then on top of that I
25 asked him, did you check with anyone else after this alleged
1 conversation between John and you occurred? And he said,
2 no, sir, not until later.
3 I asked him that question, ladies and gentlemen,
4 because I knew that he had lied to you here, but also
5 because I knew he had just lied about what he had previously
6 told the prosecutors right before the indictment, and that
7 was the point of the stipulation we entered with the
8 government. That was the point of Stipulation No. 5, where
9 we read to you that in a March 31st, 2011, interview,
10 Mr. Young was interviewed by the government and that there
11 was an agent named Mr. Riley who took notes and that
12 Mr. Young, on that occasion, said that he was concerned
13 about accepting excessive campaign contributions and then
14 said, my fears were alleviated by asking John, and then he
15 made up other attorneys. And then to Mr. Riley he said
16 those attorneys were David Kirby, Fred Baron and then he
17 threw in Lisa Blue. You didn't hear that on the stand.
18 The point, of course, is that at any time Andrew
19 Young will just make up whatever he wants and the government
20 will build their case on him. So much of their case, and
21 the things they need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,
22 comes out of his mouth and his mouth alone. So when that
23 occurs, each time it occurs, they're piling up reasonable
24 doubt on top of reasonable doubt and on top of reasonable
1 Faced with that, faced with having to convince you
2 through the morass of Andrew Young, they've come up with a
3 new argument. They claim that you could find that John had
4 the required proof beyond reasonable doubt and the required
5 knowledge and intent because he was trying to avoid having
6 knowledge and intent. I want you to stop and consider that.
7 In the indictment they charged John had the requisite
8 knowledge and purposefulness to violate the law.
9 You will hear Judge Eagles instruct you that they
10 are going to ask you to find guilt based on John taking
11 steps not to find out, not to have that purposeful attempt.
12 Where do they go for that evidence? Again, Andrew Young.
13 This time, though, you can laugh out loud about the
14 evidence. Young said that John said he was not supposed to
15 know about any of this from the beginning because, again,
16 Mr. Edwards said from the beginning that he wasn't supposed
17 to know about any of this, in case he had to be sworn in for
18 attorney general.
19 What the prosecutors are going to hope that you
20 will do, and I am asking you not to do, is to confuse John
21 lying about his affair, on the many occasions he did, with
22 what Andrew Young makes up here. Christina Reynolds and
23 Matthew Nelson particularly told you about those terrible
24 confrontations that John and Mrs. Edwards would have and how
25 John tried to avoid those events. Lying to avoid those
1 events is not trying to avoid finding out about the campaign
3 And as to the in case he was sworn in as attorney
4 general, he wanted to be kept from the facts, according to
5 Mr. Young, in case he was to be sworn in as attorney
6 general. As my daughters would say, really? In the midst
7 of running for president, eight months before the first
8 primary occurred, John is telling Young that he needs to be
9 kept from knowledge of where Rielle Hunter is because he's
10 worried that a year later, after a democrat wins the
11 presidency, and John survives the vetting process that
12 ignores all the media reports about his affair, the
13 president would nevertheless nominate him. And as John was
14 being sworn in, and he was worried that when he put his hand
15 on the Bible and swore that he would support and defend the
16 Constitution of America, that the chief justice was going to
17 look at him and say, oh, by the way, Mr. Almost Attorney
18 General, did you have an affair with Rielle Hunter? Is the
19 baby yours? Did you stay at the Coronado Hotel?
20 Yet that's what Andrew Young made up, and that's
21 what our government sponsors as testimony beyond a
22 reasonable doubt. John's conduct in this affair and what he
23 did is shameful, but it's human. Andrew Young's lies on the
24 stand and the government sponsoring those lies is worse.
25 Did you think it was necessary for the prosecutors
1 to have you hear the testimony about Mrs. Edwards at the
2 airplane hangar? Was that to show that John knew the
3 campaign laws? Was it to show that he wanted to violate
4 them? Was it to show how he desperately wanted to violate
5 them and continue and win an election at any cost? Did it
6 show that he was in the midst of creating a criminal scheme,
7 or was it just to make you dislike him even more?
8 But in doing that awful thing, the prosecutors
9 made our point. What John was consciously avoiding was not
10 the law, but his wife, who he had damaged and damaged and
11 damaged and had her own way of dealing with those events.
12 And as to John's good faith belief about the law, Judge
13 Eagles will instruct you that if he had such a good faith
14 belief, that his conduct was not a violation, that he did
15 not act knowingly and wilfully.
16 And on this point, ladies and gentlemen, you were
17 given the most important evidence by the witnesses who could
18 tell you the most. The people who actually deal with the
19 issue of contributions and campaign reports. John Edwards
20 for President Campaign controller and CFO Lora Haggard and
21 former federal election commissioner Scott Thomas.
22 Remember Lora Haggard, 12 years of FECA
23 experience. She was an in-house controller for the
24 Democratic Party. She was the controller in the 2004 John
25 Edwards campaign. She was the consultant for a
1 congressional candidate. She worked for the One America
2 Committee. She was a compliance consultant and an
3 accountant for Citizens for a Strong Senate. She was the
4 CFO and compliance officer appointed by the treasurer of the
5 2008 campaign, and she filed all of the reports, even to the
6 latest one on April of 2012.
7 And you heard about Scott Thomas, 37 years with
8 experience in federal election law, beginning as an intern
9 at the FEC in the office of the general counsel as a
10 commissioner, serving for chairperson on four separate
11 occasions and now head of that practice at a private law
12 firm. And on this important critical case deciding point,
13 what did they say? Mrs. Haggard said that her view as to
14 why these were not included in the reports that she solely
15 was involved with was because they were not campaign
16 contributions and did not need to be reported.
17 And what did Mr. Thomas tell you? In 37 years of
18 experience, including as chairman of the FEC, that topic of
19 how a third party payment to another third party for the
20 personal expenses associated with an affair could ever be
21 covered by the campaign laws.
22 So permit me go back to the issue that matters.
23 Specific intent to break the campaign laws and deliberating
24 accepting campaign contributions. Another path out of the
25 hotel rooms, the details about the affair is to focus on
1 that issue of contributions. Each and every count in this
2 case that the government has to prove beyond a reasonable
3 doubt is that the funds that Mrs. Mellon forwarded, and the
4 expenses that Mr. Baron paid in the specific period of time,
5 in the specific period of time that John was a candidate,
6 was -- John was running for president; not when he was
7 thinking or others were thinking about him running for vice
8 president, not when others were thinking that he might be
9 considered in a cabinet post, that each of those payments
10 during the time he was running for president were campaign
11 contributions. Because if they were not, or even more to
12 the point if he acted in good faith belief and, therefore,
13 was not knowingly and wilfully violating the law, then each
14 count of this case fails.
15 When you started this case, you may have thought
16 it was a case charging that John had his campaign committee,
17 the John Edwards for Campaign Committee, use its own funds
18 for his affair. If you remember, towards the end of the
19 case, the prosecutor showed you this email between one of
20 the attorneys, Jim Cooney, and Mr. Forger with a copy to
21 Mr. Smith from whom you heard, and that's exactly what that
22 email said.
23 They said the issue was whether campaign funds
24 were illegally used; not that a third party friend, paying
25 for the affair with a mistress, could actually be a
1 contribution. But now after you've heard so, so much, you
2 know what the case is not about. What the charges are not.
3 You now know that no money was solicited and paid to the
4 John Edwards for President Campaign or any PACs or other
5 campaign or political organizations. None of that money in
6 this case.
7 That no money, not a single penny, was used for
8 any hotel, rent, airplane ride or even the Youngs' hot tub
9 or a Cabo vacation. None of it came from the campaign or
10 federal matching funds. No money, not a single penny of the
11 campaign's funds, were used for the affair.
12 Mr. Higdon sort of slid over this when he said to
13 you that Ms. Hunter was hired to be a videographer, but if
14 you recall the sequence, that occurred not from the John
15 Edwards for President Campaign. And no money, not a single
16 penny, was used for a campaign add, button, sticker,
17 brochure, yard sign or campaign office, and no money, not a
18 single penny, went to John.
19 There are, as the Judge has told you, and will
20 tell you again, a few ways that people can make campaign
21 contributions. We're almost used to the one where somebody
22 asks from a campaign that you either write a check or use
23 your credit card to make the campaign contribution directly
24 to the campaign. That's not what's charged in this case.
25 The other two ways when a person can make a
1 payment, not to the campaign itself but for a campaign
2 purpose or activity, for what is either a personal expense
3 of the candidate or for some coordinated activity for the
4 purposes of influencing an election. Those are what's
5 charged in this case in the various counts, so let me start
6 with that issue.
7 Judge Eagles will instruct you, and you saw the
8 government's exhibit when the FEC wrote to the campaign
9 asking for additional information, that the letter sent from
10 the FEC asking questions to the campaign was whether
11 something was a contribution, that it then defined as if it
12 was for the purpose of influencing the election.
13 The instruction that you're going to hear on the
14 subject will explain that, and what it will explain is as
15 follows: If a donor would have made the gift or payment
16 notwithstanding the election, it does not become a
17 contribution merely because the gift or payment might have
18 had some impact on the election.
19 Nor does it become a contribution just because the
20 donor knew it might have some influence on the election and
21 found that acceptable. If the donor's real purpose was
22 personal, for example, if the real purpose was not to
23 influence the election, then it is not a campaign
25 Judge Eagles will tell you something even more and
1 will tell you that even if it is not possible to determine
2 what the purpose was, then -- beyond a reasonable doubt,
3 then you have to find Mr. Edwards not guilty.
4 So as with all other parts of the case, you can
5 use your commonsense when considering the evidence and
6 conclude that none of these funds were campaign
7 contributions, that is, for the purpose of influencing an
9 Recall I asked FBI agent Craig Garey who was on
10 the stand to review all the records that he had done for the
11 government. And I asked if any of those included expenses
12 that went to campaign activities like ads, brochures,
13 rallies, campaign travel, and he said no to each one.
14 And then when you consider, please consider the
15 campaign manuals that Lora Haggard identified for you,
16 Exhibit 3. Not only do they not mention anything like a
17 third party to third party payment as she confirmed, they
18 even have in there sections -- if you remember I asked
19 her -- in-kind contributions, to put people on notice what
20 they were. And remember the manual says what are not
21 in-kind contributions and has a category that says,
22 transportation and living expenses for campaign staff would
23 not be an in-kind contribution.
24 So consider this: If it is not a contribution
25 when campaign staff members travel and lodging is paid for
1 as part of a campaign, how on earth is it a campaign
2 contribution if the travel and lodging is for a mistress?
3 And as to John's acting knowingly and wilfully to
4 violate the rules, recall this: People with the most
5 experience, Lora Haggard and Chairman Thomas, said these are
6 dense, complex and complicated laws and include hundreds of
7 rules and regulations and advisory opinions. Ms. Haggard
8 went further and told you that the FEC often changes the
9 rules in the middle of the game and that you do not know
10 what the rule is until after that occurs.
11 And every witness you heard from, whoever had any
12 experience with this area of the law, said that the topic of
13 how such a third party payment to another third party, not
14 to John, third party to a third party, concerning the issues
15 of a mistress and an affair, would ever come up as being a
16 contribution. So how can the government prove to you,
17 beyond reasonable doubt, that John acted with the knowledge,
18 intent and purposefulness required to do something that the
19 law violates if no one else, with far more experience than
20 he had, had ever heard that possibility exists?
21 And how would it not be in good faith? Even if he
22 knew everything that Andrew Young testified to on the stand,
23 if he knew every single fact, how could it be not in good
24 faith to believe that people who help him with an affair
25 could be violating the campaign law when, as I said, the
1 people in the campaigns with the most experience said the
2 topic had never come up.
3 And how can it be that the government can prove
4 beyond a reasonable doubt that the purpose of what you had
5 heard was for the purpose of just influencing the election;
6 not friendship, not to help personally, not to promote John
7 to be vice president, not president, not to promote John to
8 be attorney general or not just, as Alex Forger said,
9 anything John wanted to do.
10 To ask these questions, just answer them. It
11 cannot be proof beyond a reasonable doubt to conclude that
12 these were contributions. John thought of them that way,
13 knew they would violate the law by asking, if he did,
14 anybody to help him and purposely decided to do so, and that
15 flaw on contributions affects Counts Two through Five, which
16 are the substantive campaign counts; also Count One on
17 conspiracy; and also Count Six, because if it's not a
18 contribution, there's no limits, there's no illegal
19 agreement, there's no requirement to report it.
20 You know, the point of us calling Lora Haggard and
21 Chairman Thomas was to refocus the case on the issues that
22 matter, the campaign issues; not the affair. We kept our
23 case as short as possible, not to prolong it a day longer,
24 to try to focus on what the case was supposed to be about.
25 And when we did that, Lora Haggard told you something very
1 important. She was in charge of filling out the FEC forms.
2 She told you two extraordinary and case ending things, and I
3 hope you remember.
4 First, she said that John was not involved in the
5 decision about what was reported on the forms; not then and
6 not after. She said that she never saw him review them or
7 never got any input from him and that she said that she has
8 known of these payments from at least the time of the
9 indictment and has, if you remember, filed five different
10 FEC forms after that, and on none of them she made the
11 decision, on her own, not to include the Mellon or Baron
12 payments on any of them.
13 She said she did this because, in her experience,
14 with the responsibility that she has to do it right, she did
15 not see them as contributions. She did not think she could
16 put them on the form. In fact, she said that if she put
17 them on one part of the form, it would then violate another
18 part of the law, because campaigns aren't supposed to pay
19 for a mistress.
20 You can have no doubt, therefore, based on what
21 you heard. Even if we had the burden of proof, you could
22 have no doubt that if Lora Haggard had known every fact that
23 Andrew Young said happened, every single fact, she would
24 have not put them on the forms in 2007. She would have not
25 put them on the forms in 2008, and you know that because she
1 hasn't done it in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
2 Were that not enough, Ms. Haggard told you one
3 more thing. She said that these payments were not just
4 known to her but by the FEC auditors with whom she was
5 having some engagement. Theses were the people that did the
6 audit. You saw that it took years. It was mandatory
7 because of the campaign, and Mr. Thomas told you that these
8 auditors are experienced and thorough. And then Ms. Haggard
9 told you that her decision not to include these as campaign
10 contributions, even after the indictment, was never
11 questioned by those auditors and that in their final review
12 of the campaign, the campaign was not found to have received
13 excessive contributions.
14 So this, too, is the quickest path out of the mess
15 that this case has created. If Ms. Haggard and the FEC
16 auditors did that, how does the prosecutor expect you to
17 find beyond a reasonable doubt the opposite, or beyond
18 reasonable doubt that even considering the issue, had John
19 stopped and thought about it and decided I'm doing this
20 anyway, it would have not been in good faith for him to
21 conclude that these didn't need to be included, that they
22 were not contributions? Not in the evidence here.
23 Let me go one by one through the people that you
24 have heard the government address to you, and count by
25 count, so that you will see that the government has not and
1 cannot use argument to replace evidence beyond a reasonable
3 Let me start with Rielle Hunter. The prosecutor's
4 theory of what makes these campaign contributions is this:
5 Ms. Hunter, who was having an affair with John, was a moment
6 away at any time in the campaign of going to the press and
7 revealing the affair. Her doing so, to use Mr. Higdon's
8 words, would be a disaster. And so, the money that was
9 spent on her was to keep her from doing that. And so, after
10 the fact, it can then be called a contribution because it
11 had that purpose of, therefore, influencing the election.
12 For this, too, they rely on Andrew Young.
13 He says, she would often threaten to go public,
14 but he could not answer my questions about how going to the
15 press would help insure Ms. Hunter that she might have a
16 continuing relationship with John, or how that would be good
17 for her baby and her desire that John be part of Quinn's
18 life as he was with his late son Wade and the kids, Emma and
19 Jack he cares for today.
20 And he certainly could not answer the question
21 that if this was supposed to be hush money for her, how did
22 she only get 38,000 of it in the year in which John was
23 running for office and Mr. and Mrs. Young kept the rest?
24 And how did anyone believe that his job was to keep her
25 quiet with that, when she always had a cell phone, and she
1 always had the ability to use it?
2 You know, Andrew Young, if you recall, agreed that
3 others knew about the affair and might be the source, not
4 Rielle, might be the source of anonymous press leaks.
5 Mr. Higdon told you about one. But then he made a startling
6 admission on the stand. He said, and admitted in this
7 courtroom, that he was talking to The National Enquirer. So
8 the prosecutor set up the argument that it was Ms. Hunter
9 who spoke to the press. They have no proof of that, but
10 then they completely ignore that their star witness, who
11 they gave immunity to, and who has paid no taxes on a
12 million dollars, is the only evidence you heard of anybody
13 talking to The National Enquirer.
14 Mr. Higdon said to consider what Mr. Baron or
15 Ms. Blue said in Davenport, Iowa, and that event certainly
16 happened, but they must hope that you're going to ignore
17 what was going on that day. Mrs. Edwards was appropriately
18 very upset about the press about the affair and had a
19 suspicion that John still had not told the truth. She was
20 angry that Mr. Baron and Ms. Blue had befriended Ms. Hunter,
21 and she was emotional.
22 I think you'll recall Mr. Hickman, who's known the
23 Edwardses for some time, even used the phrase that on these
24 occasions she could be volcanic. No doubt, if you had been
25 in that room, you'd be as uncomfortable as the others were
1 and probably want to get out as fast as you could; and, yes,
2 Mr. Baron may have said, or Ms. Blue may have said, exactly
3 the words that Ms. Palmieri remembered that happened.
4 But Ms. Palmieri said something else. At the
5 time, in the beginning of October of 2007, she,
6 Mrs. Edwards, John, and the others knew, and I'm talking
7 about early October, the people in the best position knew
8 that the campaign had little hopes of success. What was
9 going on that day was not about that. Was not -- to use her
10 words, it was not about forwarding the campaign, but
11 remember what she said? It was to get out with the family's
12 dignity intact. That's not a campaign purpose. It is the
13 opposite. It's something much more important to
14 Mrs. Edwards and to John. It's about public humiliation.
15 And that was just one example of what I think is
16 an unfair thing that happened in this court from time to
17 time. Whether deliberately or not, the witnesses or the
18 prosecutors confused the sequence of events. They --
19 THE COURT: Can counsel approach, please.
20 (The following proceedings were had at the bench by the
21 Court and Counsel out of the hearing of the jury:)
22 THE COURT: Just be really careful that you do not
23 impugn the integrity of opposing counsel. If you do it
24 again, I'm going to have to come down. That's not the first
25 time you've done it, so just be real careful.
1 MR. LOWELL: I understand your rule now. I didn't
2 know --
3 THE COURT: I hadn't made that rule up.
4 (End of bench conference.)
5 MR. LOWELL: It's important to get the sequence
6 right. Sometimes these events were lumped together, so the
7 time in Davenport, Iowa, in early October blends with the
8 calls or meetings with the second National Enquirer in
9 December, and then the plane ride with Mr. Baron and
10 Mr. Davis, and then with events around the ABC Nightline
11 interview in the summer of 2008, as if it was one continuous
13 I hope you noticed that sometimes when we got up
14 to ask questions, our role was to unwind those events into
15 their natural sequence. I am sure that often when we asked
16 questions you wondered why the question was being asked, and
17 closing argument is not a bad place to explain it.
18 One reason, for example, that I needed to point
19 out to Leo Hindery that he got the date and place wrong
20 about the Martin Luther King speech, that he so forcefully
21 remembered on direct examination, was not to embarrass him,
22 but it's to show that four and a half years after events,
23 sometimes people get the timing wrong and the sequence
25 And so this is a good time to come back to a
1 guiding principle of criminal trials in our country, and
2 that is the burden of proof. To really find out what
3 Ms. Hunter was doing and not doing, what she was threatening
4 or not threatening, and what the facts were. The government
5 could have called her to the stand, and I suppose you wanted
6 to see her and hear from her. I know everybody out there
8 But they did not, and when Mr. Harbach comes back,
9 I'm sure he will say that the defense could have called her
10 as well, but that's where the burden of proof comes in.
11 That's where it matters, when Judge Eagles has told you that
12 the defense has no burden to prove anything. Doesn't have
13 to call a single witness, that that instruction matters.
14 This is such a case.
15 So what was the real evidence about people's
16 intent and reasons for acting and whether their actions were
17 for the purpose of influencing? I'd like to start with
18 Rachel Mellon, please. First, there was no evidence, none,
19 that there was ever a conversation between John and
20 Mrs. Mellon about those Bryan Huffman checks. Wait. Except
21 Andrew Young saying there was.
22 Recall there was never a meeting, and it had to be
23 a call. Jim Walsh loaded 137,000 calls into the computer,
24 and every possibility of a phone was analyzed, except
25 Mr. Harbach asked him on cross-examination about did he not
1 include Mrs. Edwards' phones. Well, he asked whether or not
2 it's all phones, and Mr. Walsh said, I didn't include
3 Mrs. Edwards' phones. None that matched what Mr. Young said
4 was found.
5 Does anybody here think that John used
6 Mrs. Edwards' phone to call Mrs. Mellon and ask her for $1.2
7 million, as Andrew Young swore happened, to pay for his
8 mistress? I suppose. I suppose that John could have bought
9 some other phone, some throwaway phone, and used it for just
10 that one call, and it never showed up on anybody else's
11 bill, and after he made that one call asking Mrs. Mellon for
12 the 1.2 million, he threw it out and never used it again.
13 But when the government asks that be found as the
14 proof beyond reasonable doubt, they're defining reasonable
15 doubt. And then Mr. Higdon said that these events must have
16 occurred because the checks started coming. Remember
17 Mr. Young said, they just started flowing. And Mr. Higdon
18 said in his closing, they came whenever she, meaning
19 Mrs. Mellon, felt like it.
20 There are certainly calls between Mr. Young and
21 Mrs. Mellon, and I asked him about it, and I'll just give
22 you one example. You remember the first check that came,
23 and you'll see the phone records where Mr. Young calls
24 Mrs. Mellon before the check arrives. And there were
25 certainly calls between Mr. Young and his new friend, Bryan
1 Huffman, in this case, quite a number of them, before the
2 checks would arrive, and I'm just giving you a few examples.
3 But there was no evidence of any such calls
4 between John and Mrs. Mellon and, therefore, no evidence of
5 the agreement in that fashion, let alone an illegal
6 conspiracy between him and her.
7 Now, Mr. Young certainly says he was carrying out
8 John's directions by calling her and setting up funds, but
9 then recall what he says he told her from the very first
10 call he says he had with her. It was not for the campaign
11 purpose, but was for, as you remember it, something
12 personal. He said that not just once but on more than one
13 occasion, and he said it to Bryan Huffman. So when you're
14 considering what was going on in Mrs. Mellon's mind, from
15 the first point forward, she was told it was not a campaign
17 Now, I understand that the government says that
18 Mr. Edwards made this all up and set Andrew Young in motion
19 to tell Mrs. Mellon that thing, but that's what Mr. Young
20 says he told Mrs. Mellon. That it was not a campaign
21 purpose. So then please recall Alex Forger, who the
22 prosecutors do not say was part of any scheme or conspiracy.
23 He said that in December 2007, when Mrs. Mellon
24 asked how to write $175,000 on a check, and he asked her
25 about it, she, and he said, it could not be a campaign
1 contribution, so that had to be her view. In fact, I
2 specifically asked Mr. Forger, what did you ask her. He
3 said, I asked her what the purpose was, and she said
4 personal, not campaign.
5 Mr. Harbach will tell you that Mr. Forger has the
6 force of a person who was her lawyer and, of course, she
7 would have said that, to defend what she had written in the
8 past, but then ignore the fact that after that she wrote
9 another $200,000 check.
10 You heard about her fondness for John and her
11 friendship and her concerns. You saw the personal nature of
12 her notes. How many campaign contributions come with notes
13 that are signed, "A big hug, all my love." You saw that she
14 had sent gifts, personal gifts and offered for John to come
15 for a rest, even after the Nightline interview, long after
16 the campaign was over. And you heard from Mr. Forger, that
17 she would even like that today. That's not a conspiracy to
18 do an illegal contribution. It's not a contribution at all.
19 They are instead, as Mr. Forger explained, somebody who has
20 known Mrs. Mellon for quite a long time, doing whatever John
21 was working on at the time and not dependent on him being a
22 candidate for anything.
23 So then how do you find proof beyond reasonable
24 doubt that her purpose was to help the campaign? The
25 government suggests you look to that April 23rd note about
1 the haircut where she talked about government restrictions
2 and they showed you that you note.
3 Again, think about the context. Does anyone here,
4 after what you've heard about Bunny Mellon, think that when
5 Mr. Huffman said that this was all about her having fun,
6 that she really was thinking, I'm involved in something that
7 is going around the campaign laws, after I've been told
8 repeatedly by Alex Forger and by Andrew Young that it is not
9 for the purposes of the campaign, and this from somebody who
10 when she wanted to help the campaign or help an
11 organization, knew how to spend $6.3 million to do so.
12 Mr. Higdon pointed out to you that you knew this
13 must be some sort of a scheme because of the convoluted way
14 she wrote the checks, you know, to Huffman with the
15 notations for furniture that went to Young, that went to
16 Pfister. But remember, that was not John's idea. Indeed,
17 the evidence over and over again was that he didn't know
18 these checks were being written.
19 Remember, that's what Mr. Forger said. That's
20 what Mr. Huffman said. Who Mr. Forger reminded you in that
21 August '08 call, Huffman said, John shouldn't know, and
22 there's no need for him ever to know. That's what
23 Mr. Moylan recalls about being there in August, and that's
24 what Ms. Button recalls John saying even a year later. And
25 it was not even Andrew Young's idea. It was Mrs. Mellon's
1 idea to keep her financial advisor, Ken Starr, and her
2 attorney, Alex Forger, from telling her how to spend her own
4 But did you notice how even then, Andrew Young's
5 story does not quite hold together? How does Young explain
6 that Mr. Forger was not to be in the loop when in the very
7 note the government relies on to show that her intent was to
8 get around Forger, she tells Andrew to go through Alex
10 And Mr. Higdon pointed out the email that was
11 written a few days later where Mr. Forger is explaining that
12 Mrs. Mellon is now not writing any more contributions or
13 donations to the political committees. Well, that's true on
14 that day. But the evidence showed how many more millions
15 she wrote after that; and when she did that, you saw the
16 process when she wanted to make a political contribution.
17 The New York office, whether it was for that organization
18 Center for Promise & Opportunity or the One America
19 Committee, that's how she rates campaign contributions,
20 Huffman and furniture is how she does something else.
21 So, stop. Let's suppose, let's just suppose, that
22 at one point one thought entered in her mind, and I suppose
23 it's possible that it did. I suppose there's a possibility
24 that in that midst of her personal relationship being told
25 it's not a campaign purpose, all the events you've heard,
1 the love, hug, kisses, gifts, one thought entered her mind
2 and said you know what? It won't be bad for his campaign
3 either. But then the instruction you'll hear from the Judge
4 says if the donor would have made the gift or payment
5 notwithstanding the election, it does not become a
6 contribution merely because the gift or payment might have
7 some impact on the election. So in light of all the
8 evidence of friendship and what she was told about its
9 purpose, how isn't that exactly the point?
10 I mean, forget about argument. You've heard
11 enough. Just ask yourself the following question: Even if
12 we had the burden of proof, does anybody in this courtroom
13 have any doubt that Mrs. Mellon would have helped John with
14 any personal issue that he had and presented, whether he was
15 running for an office or not? And you don't have to take my
16 word in argument, that's what you heard from Alex Forger.
17 Let me turn to Mr. Baron. What is the evidence
18 about Mr. Baron's purpose? First and foremost, remember
19 that Mr. Baron and John were longstanding friends, the kind
20 of friend that would help you even if you weren't running
21 for any office. Harrison Hickman told you a little bit
22 about Mr. Baron and, especially about his generosity, even
23 how he would help people anonymously in very large numbers,
24 and John was a friend.
25 But here is where you have to find one of two
1 things. You have to find either that the purpose of the
2 engaged was, again, one of those out-of-sequence events --
3 so let me try, please, to untangle the sequence. Remember
4 about Mr. Baron, he's not alleged to be involved in the
5 crime until December of '07. That's what the charges are.
6 At the Davenport, Iowa, meeting in early October,
7 Mr. Baron, according to the evidence Ms. Palmieri told you
8 and Mr. Young, stated that he did not know that Ms. Hunter
9 was pregnant, let alone who the father was, or even if the
10 affair was still going on. That day in Iowa, the events
11 were about Mrs. Edwards. By at least then, Ms. Palmieri,
12 Nick Baldick, who said he thought so even longer; Harrison
13 Hickman who had all the polling data, said that anybody in
14 the inner circle knew that the campaign was doomed.
15 So even if Ms. Hunter was the loose cannon that
16 the government argues she was, and that what was being
17 discussed, what was on people's mind in Davenport, Iowa? To
18 use Ms. Palmieri's explanation, prevent any more public
19 humiliation for Mrs. Edwards, how to get out with dignity
20 and keep the family intact.
21 And when the second National Enquirer article came
22 out in late December of '07, the campaign was certainly not
23 in better shape. There's no doubt, however, that Mr. Baron
24 got involved, and he got involved in, as you heard, to help
25 Ms. Hunter and the Youngs leave North Carolina; but, again,
1 what was going on in that time frame?
2 Mr. Higdon pointed out that the records will show
3 lots of conversations on various points between Mr. Baron
4 and John. They were friends. He was campaign finance
5 chair. They're going to want you to look at the events at
6 The National Enquirer and at the time of the interview in
7 August, but they've known each other for years. And there
8 is no doubt, when The National Enquirer stories came out, in
9 which there was rumors about whether the baby was John's or
10 whether or not Andrew Young was the father, or whether or
11 not the affair was going on, of course they'd be talking.
12 So what? What were they talking about? You can assume.
13 You can guess. You can speculate. But if you do that, base
14 it on the entire nature of their relationship, just as
15 Mr. Higdon showed you the exhibits of the telephones and
16 said look at how many calls there were between Mr. Edwards
17 and Mr. Young in the period of time between December and
18 through the end of January.
19 But you know why those were happening?
20 Mr. Edwards was still not telling Mrs. Edwards what was
21 going on. Every time he wanted to call Rielle Hunter, who
22 he called every day, those calls were not 30 minutes Andrew
23 and John talking. It was John calling the phone Andrew had,
24 Andrew taking the phone and giving it to Ms. Hunter. That's
25 what was going on. Not day after day of plotting a campaign
1 violation scheme.
2 The best the government will argue is that on --
3 Mr. Baron, I think, on December 10th, '08, they may point to
4 the evidence if you'll recall that said a message where he
5 called John the principal, as if that was some sort of a
6 code word, claiming that it had to be for a campaign law
7 scheme because of that.
8 Instead, all that happened, and the later voice
9 mails where you see that Mr. Baron is concerned about people
10 tapping their phones, was not about the FBI who had not
11 started any investigation yet. It was not about the Federal
12 Election Commission, they don't tap people's phones, but it
13 was clearly a reference to what was going on. What was
14 going on?
15 Two National Enquirer stories, and as we've now
16 learned in the newspapers, Mr. Baron's concern about
17 tabloids tapping other people's phones was not an idle
18 concern. It is, to use Mr. Higdon's phrase, possible that
19 what Mr. Baron meant was really that we are in a campaign
20 law scheme and I want to leave a message for John, calling
21 him the principle, referring to Rielle Hunter as her or our
22 friend and Elizabeth as her, that this day in court would
23 happen and, therefore, everybody wouldn't know what he was
24 talking about. I think that's possible, I guess. But that
25 means it's also not possible. And when something is
1 possible, and they're asking you to accept that versus what
2 it's also possible not, that's the definition of reasonable
4 Andrew Young did have to admit that he had his own
5 relationship with Mr. Baron and that he told Mr. Baron about
6 what had happened at their home. Remember The National
7 Enquirer peeking in, kids screaming, how upset he and his
8 family were? He knew Mr. Baron, and Mr. Baron reacted.
9 Mr. Baron, if you recall the sequence, even if you
10 believe Andrew Young, was not told by Mr. Young that he,
11 Mr. Young, was not the father of Rielle Hunter's baby until
12 March of 2008. Every action Mr. Baron took between December
13 and March of 2008, if you believe Mr. Young, is in a period
14 where Mr. Young was saying it's my kid. When he told
15 Mr. Baron, it was after the campaign ended.
16 So, again, here's the dilemma with proof beyond a
17 reasonable doubt. You either credit Mr. Young's testimony
18 about what was going on at the time and that he was telling
19 Mr. Baron it was his baby and that it was not John's, and,
20 therefore, it doesn't make the purpose being to influence
21 John's election, or you discredit his testimony; and then
22 there's no evidence at all.
23 Mr. Higdon reminded you of the plane trip with
24 Mr. Baron, John and John Davis; but, again, it ignores the
25 timing and the sequence. It happened at the time Mr. Young
1 was telling Mr. Baron the baby was his, and the context of
2 that conversation was that time period.
3 I don't want to beat around the bush. The
4 prosecutors have argued, and you might suspect, that despite
5 Mr. Young's moment of truth out of, I don't know, a few
6 thousand, somehow Mr. Baron knew or thought that the baby
7 was John's. It's possible. But it's also complete
8 speculation, and it also means it's not possible. And I saw
9 that you wrote notes from time to time, and some of you are
10 doing that now. Did you keep track of the number of times
11 that a witness was asked was something possible? I did.
12 Over a dozen times.
13 And, again, the point of Judge Eagles telling you
14 about the government's burden and proof beyond a reasonable
15 doubt is just that. When the government, to satisfy their
16 burden, asks you to speculate about whether something
17 happened or didn't happen and uses the word "possible," they
18 are admitting the opposite is also true. And, again, that's
19 the definition of doubt.
20 I mean, one more thing about the flight with
21 Mr. Baron and John and John Davis. If Fred Baron and John
22 were involved in a criminal scheme to violate the law, not
23 an effort, especially after what Mr. Baron had witnessed in
24 Davenport, Iowa, and what Mr. Davis had witnessed and heard
25 about in the hangar, if what they were doing was discussing
1 some criminal scheme, why talk about it in front of John
2 Davis? He's not alleged to be in the criminal conspiracy,
3 which -- and you then heard it wasn't John Edwards who shut
4 up the conversation. It wasn't even Fred Baron. It was
5 John Davis who said I don't want to hear any of this.
6 So you have to ask yourself the question: Did
7 John Davis shut down the conversation because he thought,
8 wow, these guys are involved in a campaign finance scheme,
9 or is it because he had heard way too much about what was
10 going on when he heard about the affair and Mrs. Edwards and
11 her reaction?
12 And as to what Mr. Baron actually knew or thought,
13 and we can speculate or guess about that, it is particularly
14 dangerous to do that in this case, where Mr. Young can, as
15 you saw that he did on a number of occasions, that would be
16 more pages in your notebooks still, to put words in the
17 mouth of someone who died of cancer in 2008 or to put words
18 in the mouth of a 101-year-old woman, neither of whom are
19 here to tell you what really happened.
20 But as to Mr. Baron, he did testify here. He did.
21 I don't mean just the statements when he was close to his
22 death telling his friend Harrison Hickman that he really did
23 help because at the time he thought the baby was
24 Mr. Young's. I didn't mean that. His testimony comes from
25 one obvious and glaring fact that tells you something about
1 Mr. Baron's involvement.
2 Yes, FBI Agent Craig Garey could tell you how much
3 money Mr. Baron spent between December of '07 and January of
4 '08 -- Mr. Higdon ticked off some of those, right? The
5 hotel, the private jet -- while Mr. Edwards was a candidate.
6 But he did not calculate and did not tell you how much money
7 Mr. Baron spent after Mr. Edwards dropped out of the race
8 and was a candidate for nothing.
9 The government and we entered into a stipulation
10 to show the total amount of money that
11 Mr. Edwards -- Mr. Baron spent in the entirety from the time
12 Mr. Young alleges he was involved to the time Mr. Baron
13 ended his support. And then if you take the allegations in
14 the indictment and you do the math, this is what you find
15 out: That before January 30th, 2008, Mr. Baron spent
16 $194,083. After the campaign was over, he spent $607,235,
17 nearly three times as much after Mr. Edwards was running for
19 If Mr. Baron's purpose was about the campaign, he
20 knew better than anyone how that campaign was likely or not
21 likely to succeed in the fall of 2007, and he certainly knew
22 that John was not a candidate for anything in February,
23 March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October,
24 to the very day that Fred Baron died.
25 Yes, you heard that Fred Baron and others wanted
1 John to be vice president and attorney general, and they
2 did. Fred may have wanted there to be no more gossip and
3 rumors in the press so that that possibility had the chance
4 to succeed. But as so many witnesses, including Chairperson
5 Thomas, told you, there's no FEC filing that is associated
6 with promoting somebody to be vice president or attorney
7 general, and there are no limits as to what somebody can
8 spend if that is their purpose.
9 And if John considered the possibility on the
10 night of losing the Iowa Caucus and sent Leo Hindery in the
11 midst of battle to call Senator Daschle to consider a ticket
12 with Mr. Obama, or in March when some other person said he
13 was still thinking about higher office, or when he spoke to
14 Andrew Young at the River Inn, well, maybe he wanted that;
15 and Fred Baron, you heard, could have spent any amount of
16 money he wanted to promote that if that was really John's
18 And even if that was part of his interest, as
19 opposed to helping Ms. Hunter and Mr. Young, who, until
20 March, Mr. Young said he never told him truth -- Mr. Hickman
21 told you it was even later than that -- then the funds spent
22 after January 30th of 2008 are not funds that are included
23 in the indictment in this case.
24 One last thing about Mr. Baron for now, and then,
25 Your Honor, I would be fine to take our break.
1 THE COURT: All right.
2 MR. LOWELL: You heard that Mr. Baron was an
3 experienced person in campaign rules. He was an attorney.
4 Nick Baldick and Harrison Hickman and Eileen Mancera said he
5 cared about following the rules. I think Mr. Hickman said
6 he was even persnickety about them with things like using
7 his plane and keeping up with those regulations. You know,
8 you may have heard that testimony sceptically when it came
9 out of the mouth of people who knew him because of the
10 allegations in this case.
11 So let me ask you this: Why would someone with as
12 much experience as Mr. Baron even remotely think that funds
13 being spent to Mr. Young and Ms. Hunter, when Mr. Young was
14 still saying the baby was his, would implicate the campaign
15 laws? Federal Election Commissioner and Chairman Thomas,
16 with 37 years' experience, Lora Haggard, with all of her
17 training and all of her work, Josh Brumberger, Nick Baldick,
18 Eileen Mancera and others said the topic of how a third
19 party payment to another third party for personal expenses
20 considering an affair had never occurred in anything that
21 they had done or said. So if that's what they all say, why
22 would it be any clearer to Fred Baron?
23 THE COURT: Is that a good place? All right.
24 We'll stop there. Ladies and gentlemen, we'll come back
25 at -- I don't know, we'll kind of shoot for a quarter of
1 two. It might take you a few minutes longer than that. But
2 whenever all of you all get back after quarter of two, we'll
3 come back and finish the closing arguments.
4 Over the lunch break, please remember not to
5 discuss the case among yourselves or with anyone else. Keep
6 an open mind. Don't have any conversation or communication
7 with anyone about the case. No contact with the lawyers,
8 parties or witnesses, no media coverage, no internet, all
9 those usual things. Leave your notes in your chair, and
10 we'll see you back in about a quarter of two.
11 (The jury departed the courtroom at 12:40 p.m.)
12 THE COURT: Okay. Anything we need to do before
13 we take our lunch break?
14 MR. LOWELL: Not for now, Your Honor.
15 MR. HARBACH: No.
16 THE COURT: All right. We'll be in recess until
17 quarter of two.
18 (The Court recessed at 12:40 p.m.)
19 (The Court was called to order at 1:45 p.m.)
20 (The defendant was present.)
21 THE COURT: I believe we have all the jurors back.
22 Is there anything we need to do before they come back and
23 Mr. Lowell proceeds?
24 MR. HARBACH: Could I ask for five minutes after
25 Mr. Lowell concludes before I begin? If it mixes up the
1 schedule, I'll just go, Judge.
2 THE COURT: No. I'm just looking at it. It is
3 just hard to take just five minutes.
4 MR. HARBACH: I'll go. I'll just go, Judge. It's
5 no problem.
6 THE COURT: Okay.
7 MR. LOWELL: I think I have 59 minutes. I don't
8 think I'll take quite that long. I don't know, that's why
9 I'm asking.
10 THE COURT: I show that you took about an hour and
11 ten minutes.
12 MR. LOWELL: Including our bench time and TV time?
13 I had to stop when we had to take off the screen and I
14 stopped talking.
15 THE COURT: I wasn't counting it minute-by-minute.
16 I will you give --
17 MR. LOWELL: Will you give me some leeway at about
19 THE COURT: I wrote down that you used 72, but I'm
20 not going to give either of you any trouble about five
21 minutes either way.
22 MR. LOWELL: Thank you.
23 THE COURT: Anything else?
24 What I will do is, at the close of Mr. Lowell's
25 argument, I'll ask the jury if they need to step into the
1 jury room. If they need a break, certainly we will do that.
2 All right. Bring the jury in.
3 (Jury panel is present.)
4 THE COURT: All right, ladies and gentlemen, we're
5 ready to finish closing arguments.
6 The jury is with the defense.
7 MR. LOWELL: Thank you, Your Honor.
8 So then let me turn to the most important person,
9 perhaps, to talk about next. Let's talk about John. What
10 have you heard about John? We've heard about John quite a
12 Today, it is easy to see him in one dimension; the
13 man who cheated on his wife, had a baby out of wedlock, lied
14 about those things to his family and to all of us.
15 The man who still tried to compartmentalize when
16 he, on ABC Nightline, lied about the affair when he was not
17 a candidate for anything. The man who ignored the advice of
18 his advisers to stop the affair and even cussed at those who
19 confronted him. None of it good, all of it human, but a
20 trial can also widen the image a bit, and I think it did
22 You also heard the man who just did not make his
23 family a campaign slogan, but who Elizabeth Nicholas told
24 you made his kids a part of his life, even while on the
25 campaign trail. The man who was the first in his family to
1 go to college and to help people fight when they were
2 injured, and the man who Wade Smith told you was one of the
3 hardest working, if not the hardest working attorney he had
4 ever seen. A man who ran for office and did so many good
5 things to focus the country's attention on those who needed
6 a voice; the poor, the disenfranchised, the homeless.
7 You know, with all that has happened in the affair
8 and in this investigation, that person can get lost, but
9 here we can remember that person, too, because it says so
10 much about why Josh Brumberger or John Davis, Christina
11 Reynolds, Peter Shrer, Matthew Nelson or Mark Kornblau
12 wanted to work for him, why John Kerry wanted him as his
13 running mate, and why Mrs. Edwards, his parents, Cate, Emma
14 Clare and Jack and Quinn have supported and love him.
15 As to charges in this case, ladies and gentlemen,
16 sometimes in the fog of a trial there can be a fact, a
17 single fact that can slice through the haze, and I think you
18 heard one here. This fact in the case is one that was not
19 mentioned in opening or closing by the government, and is it
20 is simply this: John had, and always had the means to pay
21 for the expenses of his affair with Rielle Hunter, to pay
22 for her travel, to pay for her lodging, to pay for her
23 transportation and her meals, her doctor's appointments, her
24 furniture. He was a successful trial lawyer. He had the
25 funds. So if he had the funds, why didn't he use them?
1 You know, if a person is worried about hiding
2 something from the media, or the electorate, with all the
3 scrutiny that candidates get, why include Andrew Young,
4 Cheri Young, Rachel Mellon, Bryan Huffman, Fred Baron, Fred
5 Baron's secretary, Boyd Tensley and David Kirby, or anyone
7 The more people you get involved, the more likely
8 your secret is going to get out. All John had to do was to
9 pay for those expenses himself, but he could not.
10 Mr. Brumberger, Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Baldick,
11 Mr. Hickman and Ms. Palmieri, all told you about the
12 confrontations between John and Mrs. Edwards and how she
13 reacted to any rumor, story or mention of the affair, and
14 how John had so many efforts to keep this affair secret, was
15 not because he was running for a particular office, but
16 because -- not because he was hiding it from the media for
17 that reason, because not he was thinking this is something
18 to do with the Federal Election Campaign Act, but for one
19 reason. What is the one constant? What is the one thing
20 that starts in 2006 and goes to 2010? The screen tells the
21 story. He was hiding the affair from Mrs. Edwards. At
22 campaign kickoff when she found the phone. When there was a
23 Huffington Post inquiry in September. In October, The
24 National Enquirer. December, The National Enquirer. In
25 August, the Nightline, and resisting the paternity statement
1 straight through until 2010.
2 He was a candidate for such a small period of that
3 time, but he was involved with Mrs. Edwards, poorly as it
4 turned out, for each and every year. I mean, you even heard
5 about the incident that proved the point. Don't you
6 remember that Mr. Young, in one of those moments, told you
7 that John had given Rielle his ATM card, and that she used
8 it for funds that she got in New York. And what happened?
9 Did the campaign find out? No. Did the media find out,
10 even The National Enquirer? No. Did the Federal Election
11 Commission find out? Nope. Who found out? Mrs. Edwards,
12 because she got a call from the bank and saw the accounts,
13 and she confronted John, who then made up a story about how
14 the money was used, and there you know. That, was the
15 reason. Not for the purpose of getting around the campaign
16 laws. For the purposes of getting around Mrs. Edwards.
17 There was another thing that showed that John had
18 no criminal intent. Do you remember the testimony of the
19 United Nations spokesperson Mark Kornblau? Among the things
20 he told you, remember the incident in December of 2007, when
21 the second National Enquirer story came out? You heard that
22 John decided to agree to let Andrew Young take paternity for
23 the tabloids and the press, no quarrel. You heard that he
24 lied to Mrs. Edwards again, no quarrel. You heard he lied
25 to his staff again when they asked him. No disagreement.
1 You even saw the awful ABC Nightline interview
2 where he still could not bring himself to tell the truth
3 about Quinn, something that Wendy Button, in her draft
4 statements told you he was pained about and tormented.
5 Remember the one thing he would not do. Even
6 though he could advance this so-called criminal scheme and
7 keep this story out of the press by signing a false
8 affidavit saying he was not having an affair with Ms. Hunter
9 and he was not the father of Quinn, he refused to do it. As
10 Mark Kornblau and Wade Smith told you, lying to the press is
11 one thing, lying under oath is a crime, and John wouldn't do
13 That is realtime evidence, not after the fact
14 testimony from Mr. Young that makes up things in this
15 courtroom, and it is realtime evidence of what John's intent
16 not to violate any law was.
17 You heard more about his intent. Mr. Forger told
18 you that John was surprised to hear about the Huffman checks
19 when they talked in the summer of '08. Mr. Moylan was
20 there. Bryan Huffman himself told him John did not know and
21 even that John should not know, and that he never needed to
23 Then a year later, when Wendy Button asked in the
24 summer of 2009, John told her that he had not known these
25 checks were written at the time, as to Mrs. Mellon. As to
1 Mr. Baron, he most certainly told her that he knew that
2 Mr. Baron had helped in some way, but Ms. Button used the
3 word "now" as to what Mr. Edwards was learning and how much
4 he was learning, but remember she described it as support
5 for Quinn.
6 Now, Ms. Button surmised on questions, or guessed,
7 that John must have known about Mr. Baron's help all along,
8 but even if he did, according to her, what he was talking
9 about was the support for Quinn, and we know Quinn was born
10 at the end of February and it was after Mr. Edwards was a
12 We also know, again, in taking the sequence and
13 putting it in its right order, we're not talking about '06
14 or '07, and we're not even talking about '08 any longer.
15 Now we're talking about 2009, and what was going on in 2009
16 when Ms. Button and Mr. Edwards was talking about what he
17 knew? There was a grand jury investigation. There was all
18 the publicity about what had happened. He had hired two
19 lawyers, one of whom you met and one of whom you heard
20 about, and I know, that Ms. Button, who was working on a
21 statement and wrote 13 of them, wanted John to do this and
22 wanted John to do that and thought that John should do this
23 and thought that John should do that, and I know she thought
24 it wasn't truthful to take a sentence about what Mr. Edwards
25 knew about Mr. Baron out of a statement. We're talking
1 about 2009.
2 Remember, when she said that he couldn't do it for
3 practical and legal reasons? The practical was obviously,
4 but she told you any way. The practical was that he was
5 still dealing with Mrs. Edwards, who was not right in a good
6 place, remember, not in a good place to deal with the issues
7 of paternity, not yet in a good place to resolve these
9 He was also in mediation with Ms. Hunter about
10 Quinn. He was also trying to work those out. I mean, what
11 a mess. As far as legal issues, not just those mediation
12 issues, but the grand jury that you heard about.
13 I again know that Ms. Button would have liked John
14 to do more. I understand that, but remember what she told
15 him at the time. I only know what he's told me. The only
16 thing that really should be dictating his actions right now
17 are the legal things from justice. If doing the right thing
18 messes that up, then he has to wait until that is cleared
20 I understand her testimony in 2012; this, that or
21 the other should have happened, or she didn't think it was
22 the right way to do it. Sometimes, an email that is written
23 at the time, speaks louder than somebody writing a book
24 about these events today.
25 So even after 2008, John did not stop trying to
1 hide the truth, not until January of 2010. No campaign
2 then, no vice president then. No Attorney General then. No
3 convention speech then, no political future then, but still
4 trying to keep his family intact, in what Ms. Palmieri
5 called that complicated relationship that John and
6 Mrs. Edwards had, where one day it could be her directing
7 the campaign and getting the cell phone records of the staff
8 and wanting John to stay in the race even after her illness
9 had returned, and where she could be screaming at him in a
10 car or in an airport hangar, and yet another time, those
11 tender moments of John tending to her in her final month at
12 her bedside, so even as Ms. Palmieri told you, she could
13 pass in the company of the man she loved.
14 One more thing. What about that after the fact
15 call between Mr. Forger and John's attorney, Wade Smith,
16 where Mr. Forger, again, in sequence, at the end of 2008,
17 after Nightline, after he's not running, after the events
18 are starting to be talked about in the press, was doing this
19 after the fact reconciliation of what all that money
20 Mrs. Mellon paid, so he had a conversation and was trying to
21 get the facts, and spoke to Mr. Smith and spoke to
22 Mr. Cooney, and he told you, it was by a process of
23 elimination that he came to the conclusion that
24 Mrs. Mellon's donative intent, to use his phrase, was for
25 the benefit of Mr. Edwards. But of course it was, given
1 Mrs. Mellon's gift tax issue. She didn't buy furniture. It
2 want supposed to be for Andrew and Cheri Young. It was not
3 supposed to be for Mr. Huffman. Her personal relationship
4 and friendship with Mr. Edwards, so by a process of
5 elimination, they came to that conclusion, and not only did
6 Mr. Forger tell you that, so did Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith
7 cleared it up, that that wasn't something that he had to
8 discuss with Mr. Edwards in order to tell Mr. Forger that.
9 More importantly, Mr. Smith, somebody that you saw
10 and you can determine quite a lawyer, said, you don't reveal
11 the conversations you have with your client, because that
12 violates the attorney/client privilege, and for all that
13 Mr. Forger and Mr. Smith were talking about, remember at the
14 time, we're talking about at the end of '08. They didn't
15 know where the money had gone. The money had gone and then
16 they found out later in the course of the investigation, but
17 now we know. Now we know where the benefit existed, so
18 Mr. Forger and Mr. Smith were wrong.
19 The benefit went here. The benefit went down the
20 road in Chapel Hill in a 10-acre, 6,581 square foot house,
21 and a lot of trips, vacations and nice things bought along
22 the way.
23 At the very end of his presentation to you this
24 morning, Mr. Higdon started talking about Andrew Young, as
25 if he's an afterthought.
1 You want to know the purpose of the funds, and as
2 Wendy Button emailed to Mr. Young in 2010 when they were
3 talking? Follow the money. Oh, my gosh, what did we learn?
4 That from June of 2007 through January of 2008, Andrew Young
5 solicited Mrs. Mellon for $725,000. From December of 2007
6 through the end of the next year, another hundreds of
7 thousands of dollars from Mr. Baron.
8 The Youngs did not tell Mrs. Mellon about
9 Mr. Baron and did not tell Mr. Baron about Mrs. Mellon, and
10 of course that was John's idea, even though the Youngs were
11 getting all the money and Mr. Edwards was getting none.
12 You want to know the purpose? Follow the money.
13 It was a $1.8 million house they built on that ten acres,
14 6,000 square feet. A hundred thousand on a pool, remember
15 he told you, a hundred thousand of a media center and TVs.
16 There was $38,836 the Youngs spent on vacations with their
17 family. There was $10,557 for private education for their
18 children. There was even $3,800 for jewelry for Mrs. Young.
19 There was even $35,800 they spent for porcelain crown
20 veneers for Mr. Young, I suppose for his TV appearances.
21 Where did the money not go? Only 38,000 is supposedly the
22 hush money to keep Ms. Hunter quiet during the campaign.
23 They said a hundred thousand dollars worth of
24 furniture. Remember that video of the furniture? Zero went
25 to the campaign. Zero went to campaign staff and other such
1 events, and of course went to Mr. Edwards.
2 Worse than how they got the money is, what they
3 said to get it. They used Fred Baron and lied to him by not
4 telling him what they had gotten from Mrs. Mellon, and made
5 him believe that they needed to be reimbursed for that for
6 which Mrs. Mellon had already reimbursed. They got a
7 second -- last $200,000 check from Mrs. Mellon, after they
8 had already spoken to Mr. Baron and his funds started coming
9 to them. So each of these individuals didn't know about the
10 other, and the money kept going to them, and then when they
11 tried to reconcile it, you saw the exhibits, and this is
12 what you saw.
13 You saw that they wrote one to Mr. Baron where
14 they put the money at $239,000 that was spent on the affair.
15 Then they collected a large document trying to say what was
16 Ms. Hunter's and what was related to the affair and to that
17 it was $478,000, and then they wrote their amended returns
18 to explain their gift tax issues, and to the IRS, they said
19 191,750, and so this is what they did.
20 Remember, they had gotten over a million dollars,
21 and depending on what circumstances and for whom they wanted
22 it and for what they were using it for, and how they were
23 explaining it and how they were going to cover what they had
24 done, different numbers for different people.
25 While the Youngs could boo-hoo to Tim Toben and
1 Leo Hendry and Wendy Button about how they were ruined, how
2 they had no future, no funds and how they needed more and
3 how John had let them down by not getting them a job, they
4 lied to all of those people. They didn't tell one of them
5 that they had gotten this money, but they could complain
6 about John, and they could plot against him, but they never
7 told those with whom they were plotting the truth.
8 What do they hold in their hands right now?
9 Mr. Young has an immunity agreement and neither of them have
10 paid taxes on the difference. There was a campaign purpose
11 for the money, there was, but not for the purpose of
12 influencing any election. It was a campaign to make the
13 Youngs rich beyond their means, rich beyond their dreams and
14 rich with money they did not earn.
15 Ladies and gentlemen, a lie that is told out of
16 the courtroom, but a lie Mr. Young makes up right in front
17 of you, tells how bad he is. Every other time, that long
18 term project for whom he needed money that he spoke to
19 Mr. Edwards about in the car ride, never happened. He said
20 started the ball going where he would talk to Tensley, think
21 of Baron, go to Kirby, end up with Mellon, all of that, the
22 long term project, remember he used the phrase, long term
24 Before he got into the courtroom, that long term
25 project had always been, because Ms. Hunter was now pregnant
1 and needed to be taken care of until the baby was born. Now
2 in court, it was at a time earlier, where Mr. Edwards and he
3 created that scheme. When Ms. Hunter, while not having a
4 job, was living with her friend and still had money from
5 when she had worked for the pre-campaign events, and because
6 that was the case, in order to make sure the sequence was
7 understood, that is why we entered into stipulation number
8 four, which explained when Ms. Hunter actually became
9 pregnant and when she could have known that she was pregnant
10 and when she would have needed a long term project and when
11 this event really occurred that Mr. Young and his wife
12 figured out that they had the means to take advantage of the
13 situation. It wasn't May 10th. It wasn't May 26th.
14 Indeed, she wasn't even pregnant then. It wasn't before
15 that period when the first Bunny Mellon checks were written
16 at the beginning of June, because she wouldn't have even
17 known. She went to the doctor in July, and the checks were
18 flowing a month before.
19 The long term project was not as Mr. Young said.
20 That was just yet another of the lies he told. And, it's
21 not just one lie, and it's not just only the important
22 things. He just lied over and over again, and it didn't
23 matter whether it was big or small, whether it was whether
24 he or a friend had been driving when he was pulled over for
25 drunk driving.
1 Mr. Higdon said Mr. Young had to suffer through
2 Mr. Edwards' causing him to drink, except for the fact that
3 he had those events before he ever worked for Mr. Edwards.
4 Whether he invented the hundred county tour that
5 he took credit for. Whether Mrs. Edwards changed her name
6 in order for there to be a political reason as opposed to
7 the passing of her son so she could have the same name as
8 his. Whether he was a trusted policy advisor on Iraq and on
9 the budget deficit. Whether Secretary of State Warren
10 Christopher called him to discuss John becoming vice
11 president. Whether John had a jacket made with the number
12 49, just in case John wanted to be president of the United
13 States, when John was 80 years old, or how he had discussed
14 with John how the Edwards family and the Young family were
15 going to move and live in the vice president's mansion in
16 Washington, D.C. together, or John having a plan to split
17 the democratic convention with his six delegates out of the
18 2,700 needed; or how he could be talking to John about the
19 idea of paternity, because he looked down at his car seat
20 and there on the seat was a Newsweek Magazine, which
21 proclaimed John to be the sleeper, and in a moment of
22 realism, Mr. Young said, I have to do this. I have to do
23 this because this man is still going to be president and
24 I'll take my future with him, so I looked down at the car
25 seat, I saw the Newsweek Magazine, and that's what convinced
1 me, except in John's schedule, you saw that he was only
2 interviewed for the Newsweek Magazine the day before
3 Mr. Young said he was in his car. It just happens that the
4 magazine came out a week later, but Mr. Young swears to tell
5 the truth, and tells you that on the stand.
6 You know, there is nothing he won't lie about.
7 When Mrs. Young was asked, have you ever told someone that
8 your husband is such a good liar that you don't even know
9 when he's lying, do you remember what she said? I don't
10 recall. That's a vote of confidence from your spouse.
11 There was not a person that was called to the
12 stand, not one person, except his friend, his drinking buddy
13 Tim Toben, who he wrote the emails with about calling John
14 and Mrs. Edwards such despicable and ugly names. He said he
15 was dishonest, untrustworthy, he couldn't be believed. You
16 saw the emails between Mr. Toben and him where Mr. Toben
17 wanted him to consider that John actually owed $24 million
18 for all Mr. Edwards had done to the Youngs, but every other
19 person who came to the stand in every walk of life that
20 Mr. Young now had come to work with, told you the same about
21 his reputation. Imagine people saying that about you.
22 You know, saying that you aren't going to like
23 Mr. Young in opening, or that sometimes he has not been
24 truthful in the past. I don't know, that's like saying that
25 Hurricanes Floyd or Irene were rain showers.
1 So let's move on in time and follow the money.
2 You want to see again what it was going for, the purpose?
3 Look at how the Youngs blew through the money they got.
4 Millions. They needed more.
5 Mr. Walsh went through the thousands and thousands
6 of entries, and you can see this chart, and I know in
7 cross-examination Mr. Walsh was saying is it really in the
8 red, is it not in the red. How many accounts did it take.
9 What does it really mean? I'll tell you what it means. You
10 don't have to be an experienced FBI agent and you don't have
11 to be an experienced IRS agent. What it means is, by
12 August 18, 2008, the Youngs needed more money. They were
13 out. They had blown throughout over a million dollars.
14 Mr. Young even had to admit on the stand that they
15 lost their perspective and got more and more extravagant.
16 Fred Baron telling him at the March meeting that you can
17 never move back, you can never go back? Is that what
18 happened? Really?
19 Look at the change orders that we have put into
20 evidence. Even four days after the meeting with Mr. Baron,
21 telling him that they can't move back, change orders now
22 totaling $412,000.
23 So what then? He, Mr. Young, had a confrontation
24 with John at the River Inn. You heard about that, and it
25 didn't go well. He could not tell the truth about the money
1 he had blown through. He wanted a new job.
2 There are two pieces of evidence that occurred in
3 realtime. Mr. Young and Mrs. Young can come to court and
4 lie as much as they want, but there are two pieces of things
5 that occurred outside of the courtroom, and you have seen
6 them both.
7 First, I want to talk about the Beverly Hilton.
8 Remember that incident, John came to see Quinn and came to
9 see Ms. Hunter and there were reporters there?
10 Coincidentally, do you remember what happened next? John
11 and Mr. Edwards spoke -- I'm sorry, Mr. Young, who was at
12 the time tape recording his voice mails off of his phone and
13 onto a device, so he happened to be taping his side of the
14 conversation with Mr. Edwards? You remember he told you
15 that story?
16 So he tells you that on December of 2007, this
17 whole paternity idea was John's, from start to finish,
18 John's. That he struggled, his wife and he ate a hamburger
19 while he thought about it, and that this all occurred over
20 the course of the day of the 13th of December.
21 Now, let me make sure I'm clear about this. No
22 one is suggesting that Mr. Edwards wasn't ridiculously
23 foolish by accepting the idea to have somebody accept
24 paternity for him in December of 2007. As Ms. Van Laningham
25 told you, somebody threw him a lifeline, and the crazy
1 absolutely nuts concept that Mr. Edwards had in his head, he
2 had took that lifeline, but the idea that it was just John
3 and not really Andrew's idea to start with, to continue to
4 have the leverage, to continue to be in John's good stead,
5 to continue to be the person that only John could make him
6 successful, when he admitted he was only successful in his
7 life because of John, well, you know better now.
8 You know that those events didn't happen the way
9 Mr. Young said. You absolutely know it, because in all of
10 the things that happened, remember he was traveling around
11 the country so annoyed to be doing this, upset that John
12 would never call him back. Annoyed to be living with Rielle
13 Hunter, didn't have a future, didn't have a job, wanted to
14 have that at the River Inn, and it didn't go well.
15 Then what happened in July? The first opportunity
16 Andrew Young had to talk to John after the Beverly Hilton,
17 he did it again, and this is what he did. You heard it.
18 Hear it again.
19 (An audio recording was played to the jury.)
20 MR. LOWELL: Who starts that? Mr. Higdon says,
21 who's in charge? I don't know who is in charge. Whose idea
22 is it to come up with a new lie? Is there any way you can
23 say you were here visiting me? This was after he was
24 annoyed, upset, had the River Inn, didn't have a future,
25 didn't have a job, John wouldn't call him back and what is
1 the first thing Mr. Young does? He comes up with a new
2 scheme in order to try to get money, a job, get back into
3 Mr. Edwards' good stead, so there is the man who said John
4 did everything, and you have concrete proof that the idea
5 was Mr. Young's.
6 The second incident came a little bit later in the
7 summer. Remember, Andrew's attempt to get -- I'll lie to
8 get back into your good graces by saying you were here to
9 see me at the Beverly Hilton. John, this time, didn't take
10 the lifeline that he did in December, so Andrew couldn't get
11 back into the gravy that way, so he and his wife did
12 something even worse.
13 Before the car ride on August the 18th, they had
14 gotten Ms. Hunter's private photos and private video.
15 Andrew asked for a second meeting with John, he got it.
16 Remember the sequence. John had just done the ABC Nightline
17 ridiculousness. He recalled something that Andrew did not
18 want him to do -- remember, that was something -- that
19 interview was something Andrew didn't want him to do,
20 because once he told Mrs. Edwards the truth, as Mr. Young
21 said, why did you do that, then Mr. Young did not have any
23 Remember what Mr. Young admitted he wrote. "The
24 knowledge I had made me the one person who could hurt him
25 the most, and everything I knew made him loyal to me." As
1 soon as Mr. Edwards told the truth, that hook was gone.
2 So Andrew, at his meeting -- and by the way,
3 remember the sequence; that call of Mr. Edwards that was
4 played to you by the government, happened on August the
5 12th. That was after August the 8th of the ABC Nightline.
6 It was before Mr. Edwards and Mr. Moylan went to see
7 Mrs. Mellon, spoke to Mr. Baron and spoke to Mrs. Mellon and
8 heard about the Bryan Huffman checks. So they played the
9 tape to show you that it was such a pleasant call between
10 John and Andrew. Hi, Buddy I'm going to see Mrs. Mellon,
11 and that's why, because what happened between that and the
12 August 18th trip, that wasn't such a nice trip, the trip to
13 Virginia where John learned the truth for the first time and
14 then what happened on August 18th? In the car, with the
15 possession he had of the private photos and the videos, he
16 was angry, he as upset, he was desperate, his cash flow was
17 in the red, and he threatened John. He said, I have
18 evidence. Well, that's what he said here. I suppose that's
19 probably not the words he used in the car. He certainly had
20 possession of the private materials and he certainly raised
21 it with John at the time, and then he sits here and wants to
22 make you think that John threatened him when he wrote and he
23 acknowledged he wrote that he said that, "You're not going
24 to get away scot-free, and I can't control what happens
25 next." He said John said, "Andrew, you can't hurt me, you
1 can't hurt me," and that's what he says is the threat.
2 Try as they might to lie about what happened and
3 how they got the material and what their purpose was and
4 what they were going to do and what their motives were, that
5 phrase, that a picture is worth a thousand words, is
6 certainly something that comes about now.
7 Not content with being involved and getting access
8 to Ms. Hunter's apartment and house in Governors' Club,
9 whenever that occurred, remember, they did it again. This
10 time, they brought their kids, and that tells you exactly
11 what happened.
12 (Video recording was played to the Jury.)
13 MR. LOWELL: See the hundred thousand dollars
14 worth of furniture?
15 It is ironic that the two pieces of evidence that
16 Andrew did not destroy, his Hilton tape and the video, to
17 tell the truth about his purpose.
18 John, when Andrew told you that he could not hurt
19 you any more --
20 THE COURT: If you'll address the jury, please.
21 MR. LOWELL: You were wrong. The guy who would
22 steal Ms. Hunter's property and even try to hold onto it
23 even after being held in contempt of court. The guy who
24 would threaten you with exposing the private property. The
25 guy who considered selling it, he could hurt you. He could
1 hurt you by making up more lies, by putting you in
2 conversations you never had, by blaming you for the actions
3 that he took with Mr. Huffman, by saying things that were
4 your ideas when they were not. By lying to the FBI and
5 prosecutors repeatedly, by trying to call and tamper with
6 witnesses. By enlisting whoever he could during the
7 investigation to be on his side. By leaking things to the
8 press, and then to sit here as if he's the victim.
9 In opening, Mr. Harbach said that you wouldn't
10 like Mr. Young, and that you should consider him more like
11 an exhibit than a witness. On that, we'll agree.
12 Ladies and gentlemen, I offer you Government's
13 Exhibit Number 1. This is Andrew Young. The man who, when
14 he files something with the IRS that says, "All funds
15 received by the taxpayer were transferred to the employer's
16 associate," calls it a mistake. And, the man who despite
17 Mr. Harbach asking that if he, Mr. Young lies, or violates
18 his immunity and cooperation agreement, whether he knows
19 that the agreement will be ripped up and that he can be
20 prosecuted, and Mr. Young said he knew that, but he broke
21 that agreement, because he called witnesses after the
22 defense listed them in a pleading. As far as he is
23 concerned, that agreement is intact.
24 You know, my last question to him when he left the
25 stand was, without knowing more of the details, anyone
1 looking in from the outside would consider what I did,
2 remember what he said is this, "and conclude that I must
3 have been a cold-blooded schemer who was motivated by ego
4 and greed or the desire for power." The Politician. It is
5 not the right title for this book. I think he just told you
6 the better one.
7 I think about how much of this case depends on
8 what comes out of the mouth of Andrew and Cheri Young, and
9 especially Andrew. It is from him, not the facts as
10 Mr. Higdon says it, because he just tells you the facts and
11 divorces them from how you learned them; that, there was the
12 car ride hatching a plan to get money from Boyd Tensley,
13 Fred Baron, David Kirby and Rachel Mellon. Who else told
14 you that? That there were four calls and meeting to discuss
15 whether the money was legal. Who else told you that?
16 They spoke in code. That is his word. And when
17 given an example, "we just received something important."
18 We just received something important is a code after
19 Mrs. Mellon had given millions of dollars to the campaign,
20 organizations or political operations.
21 John's idea was to go around Alex Forger. It was
22 John's idea to move Ms. Hunter to North Carolina, even
23 though doing so would put her right where the campaign was,
24 and miles away from Mrs. Edwards. It was John's idea not to
25 tell Fred Baron or David Kirby about the money from
1 Mrs. Mellon, even though it was Andrew and Cheri Young who
2 kept every penny.
3 By the way, as to all those car rides, is it
4 possible, as the questions were asked of witnesses, that not
5 withstanding that none of the schedules said that Mr. Young
6 was driving, when it was that he says he said, I was
7 driving, had the conversation, was talking about the AFNA
8 Commissions. Is it possible, that at the last minute it was
9 done that he drove? It is possible. It is possible. Not
10 likely, given what you heard from Mr. Kornblau and others
11 said as to him not being the driver in 2007 because of
12 Mrs. Edwards, but whenever the government seeks to prove
13 beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of something being
14 possible, it is the definition of reasonable doubt.
15 By the way, that it was John's idea to come up
16 with paternity, even though you heard the Beverly Hilton
17 tape, and that it was John who orchestrated everything,
18 everything ahead of time about Mr. Baron's involvement
19 starting in December, even though you heard Harrison Hickman
20 tell you what Fred said when he was dying, and after you
21 knew that Andrew said when he told him paternity, and after
22 you knew that vice president and attorney general is not
23 something covered in these charges.
24 The government has brought six felony counts
25 against John who was hiding an affair, dealing with
1 Mrs. Edwards, and to use Wendy's Button's words, struggling,
2 struggling with how to deal with all of that; being a father
3 to Quinn who he had denied, to his other children. But
4 Andrew Young, wants to walk away with his immunity deal
5 intact, the million dollars that he had received and his
7 How does that make sense? How is that a verdict
8 that comports with the evidence in this case? How will that
9 seem right to you tomorrow, next week or a year from now?
10 In his opening, Mr. Harbach said and Mr. Higdon
11 repeated it in his closing, the words deny, deceive and
12 manipulate, and he was right about that. He was right that
13 John did all of it, but he left out why, and now you know it
14 was not for the campaign, but something far more human and
15 far more common, hiding an affair, and trying to get out
16 with your family's dignity intact.
17 I would like you to keep the phrase deny, deceive
18 and manipulate in your minds when Mr. Harbach gets up and
19 explains what Mr. Young and Ms. Young did, because it
20 defines those individuals' conduct, but they deny, deceive
21 and manipulate for money, to live a lifestyle that they
22 didn't earn, and to be part of an effort to have John result
23 in what is good for their book, good for their movies, good
24 for their play, good for their speeches, good for their TV
1 There is nothing he won't do. Lie before trial to
2 the government. Lie to you on the stand is not good enough.
3 Despite being held in contempt, he enlisted the help of a
4 handful of potential witnesses like Leo Hindery, Tim Toben.
5 He even offered those two business deals while the
6 investigation was going on, and to talk to Bryan Huffman and
7 Wendy Button during the investigation and having the
8 audacity to start calling witnesses after their names were
9 placed on the defense witness list.
10 You saw the emails, and I'm going to give you just
11 a few, if you want to see them. I'll come back to that.
12 You saw the email to Mr. Hindery about the deal. You heard
13 the email to Mr. Huffman, about asking Mr. Huffman a
14 question that he knew Mr. Huffman was going to relay to
15 Chuck from the FBI. Mr. Huffman didn't know anything about
16 these questions. These weren't really questions Andrew
17 Young was asking Mr. Huffman about people he didn't know.
18 He was doing it, as Mr. Huffman admitted, with the
19 understanding that it would be passed onto the government in
20 some way. I don't understand why Mr. Young thought they
21 would not end up on a screen in this courtroom on this day.
22 He did it again with Ms. Button. "I promise you,
23 Chuck is as nice as he can possibly be. I promise." That's
24 what a government witness would say to the witnesses that
25 he's contacting or potential witnesses that he's contacting.
1 There is nothing he won't do. You know what the
2 irony is, the Youngs have not stopped trying to take
3 advantage of the situation and taking advantage of John.
4 Hundreds of thousands for his book. Hundreds of thousands
5 for his hope for a movie, more for a play and speeches and
6 who knows what else, and how inconvenient will it be for the
7 Youngs and their future plans, if you see through that and
8 you see through that his evidence is not something on which
9 reasonable doubt can be based and give him his next chapter
10 in his next book.
11 Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know how you enter
12 the courthouse, but if you come through the front door, you
13 might see the plaque on the front on the lawn right in front
14 of the front doors that has the Bill of Rights on it. I
15 don't know if you noticed it. But, the Bill of Rights is
16 the document that provides for the rules of a fair trial.
17 It is the Bill of Rights that contain issues concerning the
18 right to counsel, and many of the other things which govern
19 in this case, including the burden of proof and presumption
20 of innocence. They all derive out of the Constitution and
21 those Bill of Rights.
22 Judge Eagles is going to instruct you on all of
23 these rules. They all come from those Bill of Rights. They
24 include, of course, the indictment. The Judge is going to
25 instruct you that the indictment against the defendant,
1 Mr. Edwards, is not evidence of any guilt. In fact, the
2 prosecutors wrote the indictment. They even signed it.
3 Mr. Edwards, over the last few weeks, can answer
4 those charges, and he has. You will be instructed on the
5 presumption of innocence.
6 John came to this court and said he was innocent
7 and we have shown you that he is. The Judge will tell you
8 every defendant is presumed by law to be innocent. In a
9 case like this, those are not empty words. What they mean
10 is that when the government charges somebody with campaign
11 law violations, but instead prove bad human conduct, that
12 those are two separate things, and that the presumption of
13 innocence as to the real campaign charges, have never been
15 The third, of course, is the burden. As Judge
16 Eagles will remind you and instruct you, the burden is
17 always on the government, and it must prove all the elements
18 of every one of their charges, and they must prove them
19 beyond a reasonable doubt, and that's why it is up to them
20 to call the witnesses, and it's up to them to be able to
21 show you the proof.
22 It also means that the defense doesn't have the
23 burden to try to prove whether John confessed his sins, is
24 remorseful for what he did, is making amends, or to explain
25 the complexities that causes someone to have an extramarital
2 The next rule is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
3 Here, the Judge is going to instruct you that this burden is
4 not a small or light one. She will tell you it is a heavy
5 and a strict burden, the highest in the law.
6 I could make a much longer chart, but I wanted to
7 at least give you a few to think about as to where there is
8 reasonable doubt that Andrew Young is telling the truth, the
9 whole truth and nothing but the truth. That Cheri Young is
10 telling truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,
11 that the funds were campaign contributions, that John knew
12 anything about Bryan Huffman's checks, as Alex Forger and
13 John Moylan said he did not. That Fred Baron did not
14 believe that the baby was Andrew Youngs as he had told
15 Harrison Hickman and Harrison Hickman told you. That Rachel
16 Mellon and Fred Baron would not have helped their friend
17 John even if he wasn't running for anything. That John
18 caused Lora Haggard to file a false FEC report or that John
19 acted knowingly and purposely to violate the campaign laws.
20 All of that and so much more would fit your notebooks as to
21 a list of reasonable doubt in this case.
22 The last issue that you will hear about is
23 unanimity. Our system is so concerned that a person not be
24 wrongly convicted, that it requires all jurors to agree
25 unanimously that the prosecutors have proven each one of
1 those charges and each of its elements beyond a reasonable
2 doubt, and you will hear an instruction on that, too.
3 Put it this way. Once you get the case to
4 deliberate and you're in the jury room, if you start
5 debating and there is a debate, well, did John know about
6 those checks or did he not? Did he have any concept that a
7 third-party could actually pay another third-party's
8 personal expenses and that would be a campaign contribution?
9 Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes. Was Mr. Baron helping Mr. Young
10 for the reason of the election or for a number of reasons or
11 can we not figure out the reasons any more, any longer? If
12 that's the kind of debate you are having, and I assume it
13 is, what you are defining is, reasonable doubt.
14 It also means that there are six different counts
15 in this case, and you have to agree on them all. We've
16 shown that there is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt for
17 any of them so, please, do not compromise among the six.
18 Each is separate. Each requires the same amount of proof
19 and each is a fatal felony in this case.
20 Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of
21 Ms. Van Laningham and Mr. Duncan, we are grateful. Grateful
22 for the Judge for putting up with my clumsy and inartful
23 questions and evidence mistakes. Thankful for the court
24 personnel who have made our jobs easier, and especially
25 those who are stopping us from tripping over television
1 cameras. We're very grateful to Ms. Calhoun and her
2 colleague, Mr. Armstrong, who continue to put up with us
3 talking too quickly. Thankful to Mr. Morgan and Mr. Gomez
4 for helping each other and you, by getting the exhibits on
5 the screens.
6 Most of all, we're grateful to you. We're
7 grateful that we have a jury system where real charges can
8 be separated from salacious stories of bad marriage conduct,
9 and grateful that each and every one of you took a month out
10 of your schedules to making the system work.
11 I don't know if you noticed, but Judge Eagles'
12 bench is raised off the floor, and so is the jury box, and
13 that's because you are both judges in this case. You are
14 both judges in the courtroom. She's the judge of the law,
15 you are the judges of the facts.
16 You've been very patient with us, and particularly
17 with me taking so much time today. We did this, because
18 even with all that John has done, his family, his legal
19 career, his being a senator, his running for president and
20 vice president, this is, of course, the most important day
21 in his life, and I hope that throughout the trial and
22 especially now, that me and my colleagues have been able to
23 present the case that he deserves, for all that he's done
24 for his family, his community, this state, and the country.
25 When I'm done, the prosecutor gets to argue again,
1 and then the Judge is going to instruct you on the law.
2 Unlike what's happened during the trial where we go back and
3 forth, we won't get another chance to sift through the
4 evidence with you. We won't be able, if Mr. Harbach says
5 something that we think could be said differently, to have
6 that chance, so be careful if you hear something for the
7 first time, but then you can be the last word. That's the
8 job the rules give you.
9 We'll rely on you to be the ones who remember all
10 the evidence and put this in the context of the campaign
11 charges. Up until now, we have had John's case in our
12 hands. Now, I have to give it to you. I can do that,
13 because I'm confident that you'll follow the rules that
14 apply, hold the government to their burden and make sure
15 that proof beyond a reasonable doubt means exactly what the
16 Judge tells you.
17 It should probably not come as a surprise that a
18 good statement that summarizes the evidence in this case was
19 made by a speech writer, Wendy Button, when she was
20 discussing all that she had seen and all that had occurred
21 after John had talked to her about the pain he felt having
22 denied Quinn for so long, and having injured his family the
23 way she described to you that he had done, and having denied
24 Quinn, losing his ability to speak for those who did not
25 have a voice. Remember what she said? She said this.
1 "There should be hope in terms of now doing the right thing,
2 and based on my conversations with John and knowing that he
3 wanted to, he was trying to do the right thing, but more
4 chaos ensued, and I didn't understand why it was still going
5 on and why it could not just stop and why people could not
6 just move on."
7 John has made so many mistakes in these events and
8 he's paid such a large price to himself and his family, but
9 among those mistakes, are not the charges that were filed
10 against him in this case. Certainly not one in which his
11 next chapter is if somebody who is a federal felon for
12 purposely and knowingly violating the campaign laws, when so
13 many people never heard that topic.
14 Your verdict can do what Ms. Button described. It
15 can allow people to stop and to move on. The Youngs, they
16 have their story and they have their money. Ms. Hunter, her
17 baby and the life she can make for her, perhaps with John
18 being, hopefully, the father he's been to Wade, Cate, Emma
19 and Jack.
20 He can continue to try to repair the awful damage
21 that the prosecutors indicated when people were answering
22 questions and telling you what had happened, and then again,
23 perhaps he can speak again for those who don't have that
24 voice, and when he did speak as Ms. Button said, focus the
25 world's attention on a neglected cause, and as Ms. Button
1 said, sometimes made us cry.
2 With all that has gone on, and the heavy burden of
3 proof the government has, please let this sad chapter end
4 and stop with your verdicts of not guilty.
5 THE COURT: All right. Ladies and gentlemen,
6 Mr. Harbach will argue next. It will be for 30 or 35
7 minutes. Does anybody need a short break before that? No.
8 All right. Everybody seems to be okay, so the
9 jury is with the government.
10 MR. HARBACH: Thank you, Your Honor.
11 May I, Your Honor?
12 THE COURT: Yes. You may proceed.
13 MR. HARBACH: Good afternoon. You all have been
14 talked to by attorneys for several hours now, and I know
15 that you're eager to get to your deliberations, but before
16 you do that, the government would like to remind you that
17 it's important when you deliberate, that you're thinking
18 about the right things. The facts that have been put before
19 you by the government's evidence, the reasonable inferences
20 that can be drawn from them in accordance with the law as
21 Judge Eagles is going to give it to you later today.
22 Mr. Lowell has been working very hard today and
23 throughout the trial for his client, as he should, but much
24 of what you just heard, were distractions.
25 The task before you isn't to find the quickest way
1 out. The task before you is to apply the law as Judge
2 Eagles is about to give it to you, to the evidence that is
3 in the record, not a book that's not in the record, not a
4 false suggestion that a cooperation agreement says anything
5 about calling witnesses when the defense witness list comes
6 out. You can look at that for yourself, by the way.
7 Your verdict should be based on the evidence and
8 the law that the Judge gives you. I'm going to talk more
9 about that in a minute. There is no way that I could have
10 enough time to respond to everything that Mr. Lowell said,
11 but I do want to respond on a few key points.
12 First, Mr. Lowell was right about at least one
13 thing. The burden in this case is all our's. It rests
14 totally on the government a hundred percent. The defense
15 doesn't have to do an opening statement. They don't have to
16 cross-examine any witnesses. They don't have to make any
17 argument, but they did all of those things, and so you can
18 certainly consider what they did in your deliberations.
19 It is worth pointing out just some of what you
20 have to believe to believe their story. You have to
21 believe, for example, that in December of 2008, Andrew Young
22 has the power to persuade Fred Baron, in a six minute phone
23 call, to fly him, Cheri Young and Rielle Hunter all over the
24 country for an undetermined amount of time, that Edwards had
25 nothing to do with it, that Mr. Baron just decided because
1 Andrew Young called him and asked him to, that he would do
2 this out of the goodness of his heart because he's just a
3 generous guy.
4 You have to believe that this man, Andrew Young,
5 who the defense has been ripping for weeks as exaggerating
6 his own role, saying he was a policy advisor when he wasn't,
7 saying he came up with the hundred county tour when he
8 didn't. The guy who couldn't even keep Mr. Edwards'
9 schedule straight when he was working for him in D.C.,
10 folks, this guy is actually a criminal mastermind. He's
11 behind the whole thing. Andrew Young is behind the whole
12 thing. It was his idea to have Mr. Edwards' mistress move
13 down to North Carolina to live with his family. I'm sure
14 that was a lot of fun for Cheri and the kids.
15 It was his idea to fly all over the country with
16 his family, drag his kids everywhere to take care of the
17 demanding mistress of a presidential candidate.
18 You know, the one moment -- you may recall this,
19 the one moment that Mr. Young got emotional on the stand, it
20 only happened once, it was when he was talking about the
21 sacrifices his wife made to shelter their kids when they
22 were on the road doing what they were doing for Mr. Edwards.
23 Did that strike you as a sincere emotion? We submit to you
24 that it was. And, it makes powerfully the point that I'm
25 making here. This wasn't his idea.
1 How about this: It was Mr. Young's idea to take
2 paternity, and all Mr. Edwards did was grab a lifeline.
3 Come on, folks. This notion that Mr. Young was in charge
4 and that Mr. Edwards was willing to just go along for the
5 ride, based on all that you've heard and all that you've
6 seen in this case, does that sound a little backwards to
7 you? It does. It is exactly backwards. Any doubt that you
8 may have in your mind about who is in charge, what the
9 relationship is between these two guys, listen to the tape
10 that was played for you during Mr. Higdon's summation,
11 Government's 791, and listen to the way Andrew Young talks
12 to Mr. Edwards, not what he says, just listen to the way he
13 talks to him. Use your commonsense and think about how
14 Mr. Young talks to Mr. Edwards, and then turnaround and
15 listen to Government's 29, 35 and 40. Those are three calls
16 where Mr. Edwards is doing the talking, when he's talking to
17 Andrew. Listen to the way Mr. Edwards talks to Andrew.
18 You'll have no doubt about who is running the show between
19 these two guys.
20 But, that's not the end of it. Not only did
21 Andrew Young pull off this enormous grand scheme, he got a
22 whole bunch of other people together; Bryan Huffman, Tim
23 Toben, John Davis, Jennifer Palmieri, Wendy Button and all
24 of them got together and agreed to come in here and lie to
25 frame the defendant so that Andrew Young and Cheri Young
1 could keep all of this money for themselves. Andrew Young
2 did all this, folks, Andrew Young. That's nonsense.
3 Mr. Lowell spent a lot of time up here focusing on
4 Andrew Young and on what a bad person he is and how much he
5 had lied and statements in his book and all the money that
6 they kept. Well, news flash, Andrew kept a lot of money for
7 himself, of course he did. Andrew Young has lied in the
8 past, of course he has, but this has been the theme
9 throughout the case, ladies and gentlemen, and it is defense
10 101. Make the case about the government's witnesses, or
11 witness, even. Call him a bunch of names, hope the jury
12 ignores who is on trial, hope the jury ignores all the
13 evidence against the defendant.
14 Now, I'm not standing here saying that Mr. Young
15 deserves sympathy. I'm not saying you should like him. I'm
16 not saying he's likeable. Make no mistakes, folks, no
17 matter what Mr. Lowell says about it, the defense is trying
18 to exploit that very fact, and the proof is in the pudding.
19 The example Mr. Lowell used a little bit earlier
20 today, imagine you are out on a street and you run into
21 Mr. Young and you ask him a question or he offers to do
22 something for you, ask yourself whether you would rely on
23 that as an important decision in your live. What they are
24 trying to do is put you close to him so you'll push him
25 away, because they know that you don't like him. That's not
1 the end of the inquiry, and I'm going come back to that in a
2 moment, because we got another take on that, but I'll return
3 to that subject.
4 All of this name-calling, Bonnie and Clyde,
5 making -- you know, there was a lot of rhetorical flourish
6 about Andrew Young and his credibility. A lot of jokes.
7 How does that help you decide the factual issues you need to
8 decide about whether the government has proven the elements
9 of these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt? It doesn't. It
10 is not helpful to you. More to the point -- well, I'm going
11 to keep going. I got limited time.
12 How should you evaluate Mr. Young? As we told you
13 in opening statement, and as Judge Eagles is about to tell
14 you, it should be with great care. Great care means just
15 what it says. It means careful, thoughtful consideration.
16 It means thinking about Mr. Young and each of the witnesses
17 individually and evaluating each witness's testimony on its
18 own merits. It doesn't mean finding the quickest way out.
19 It doesn't mean wholesale throwing out all of Mr. Young or
20 any witness's testimony just because you don't like him, or
21 because he's done something that you don't think is fair or
22 because he is greedy and kept a lot of money for his house.
23 Make no mistake, folks, that is exactly what they
24 want you to do, throw it all out. So, please, we ask you to
25 take your time and evaluate carefully, not rashly.
1 By the way, I'm going to get in a little while to
2 the areas of testimony and the argument that Mr. Lowell made
3 about all of the occasions on which the government is only
4 relying on Mr. Young, but surely you all remember, that that
5 wasn't the case with a lot of what he said.
6 There is plenty of what Mr. Young told you that
7 was corroborated by other witnesses and other evidence in
8 the case, and this could be anything from what they told
9 Mrs. Mellon, namely that it was for a non-campaign purpose.
10 Mr. Huffman told you the same thing. I guess he wasn't
11 lying about that. Mr. Young told you, just another example
12 off the top of my head, that Mr. Edwards maintained interest
13 in being vice president or attorney general after the
14 election. You know, that was corroborated eight ways from
15 Sunday. I guess he wasn't lying about that.
16 So here is the other take on Mr. Lowell's example.
17 When you are making an important decision in your life, here
18 is another way to think about it. You might ask someone's
19 opinion. You might talk to someone. You may not take their
20 word for it. You may ask a second, third or a fourth
21 person, but when all three or four of those people start
22 saying the same thing, then you start paying attention.
23 By the way, if all Mr. Young was doing was
24 sticking to the government's story, as Mr. Lowell suggested
25 that he was, saying whatever it took in that witness chair
1 to make the government -- or to help the government or to
2 make its case, don't you think he could have done a lot
3 better job of that?
4 He said that Mr. Edwards told him that he had
5 checked with lawyers and the checks were legal. That's what
6 Mr. Young's sworn testimony was. That is a fascinating
7 thing to say by someone who had just tricked the government
8 to immunizing him by being willing to say anything that the
9 government wants in order to sink the defendant. That
10 doesn't fit.
11 How about this one: Mr. Young testified that he
12 told Mrs. Mellon that the money was not for a campaign
13 purpose. Well, that's really great for the government's
14 case, folks. Don't you think Mr. Young could have done a
15 lot better job than that if he was willing to say anything
16 the government wanted him to say?
17 How about this one? What I call the creepy car
18 ride, August 18, 2008, where he's in the car with
19 Mr. Edwards. Mr. Young's testimony was, that Edwards looked
20 at him and said, "I didn't know about those checks, did
21 you?" Boy, that's a real zinger there, people. He really
22 stuck it to Mr. Edwards with that one.
23 I don't want to get too cute, but you get the
24 point. It was not the case that Mr. Young was willing to
25 say anything at all that the government wanted him to say.
1 If that was true, he could have done a heck of a lot better
2 job of it.
3 How about this one. The second example I gave a
4 moment ago, that the fact that Mr. Young instructed or told
5 Mrs. Mellon that the money was not for a campaign purpose.
6 Did you catch this? Did you notice that the defense
7 embraced that?
8 Whenever anything Mr. Young said was helpful to
9 them, you should credit it, but whenever Mr. Young says
10 anything that hurts them, he's Bonnie and Clyde, he's the
11 butt of a joke, he's a liar.
12 I want to run through a couple of examples of
13 stuff that happened at trial, not so much during
14 Mr. Lowell's closing, but there was a lot of time spent on
15 cross with these folks and I think there are some
16 illustrative examples from what happened during trial.
17 The defense has overplayed their hand with
18 Mr. Young. Remember the questions to Mr. Huffman, to
19 Mr. Brumberger, to Mr. Nelson, all that were making a big
20 deal of saying that Mr. Young wasn't at the first meeting
21 with Mrs. Mellon? Do you remember all of those questions?
22 Let's see what Mr. Young said about that.
23 "Question: Were you present for Mr. Edwards'
24 first meeting with Mrs. Mellon?
25 "Answer: No, sir."
1 Here is another one put on -- they put on Harrison
2 Hickman and Elizabeth Nicholas to talk about what a terrible
3 job Mr. Young did as a scheduler while he was in Washington.
4 What did Mr. Young say about that?
5 "Question: Were you happy in that job?
6 "Answer: No, sir.
7 "Question: Why not?
8 "Answer: I was out of my element. I was
9 homesick. It was rough on my marriage and I wasn't very
10 good at the job."
11 This is what they are reduced to, folks. They are
12 not satisfied with the fact that the guy's book has
13 inaccuracies or that he kept a bunch of money for himself or
14 his family, or with the lies that he's admitted. That's not
15 enough for the defense. They overplayed their hand. They
16 pretend that Mr. Young lied when he didn't.
17 It also is not enough to offer into evidence
18 Mr. Young's phone records around the time of Mrs. Mellon's
19 first check in order to show that Mr. Young may not have had
20 the exact sequence down of the series of people that he and
21 Mr. Edwards had talked to about trying to raise money from
22 them to take care of Mrs. Hunter. That's not enough for
24 They overplayed their hand. They offered into
25 evidence the same set of records, this was Defendant's 1010,
1 and cross-examined him about it, but they delete the calls
2 with Mrs. Mellon that they don't want. They delete all the
3 calls that involved Boyd Tensley, and then they extract an
4 entire page of records, as you saw from Government's 689Q,
5 just happens to contain a 30 minute phone call with David
7 Here is the point. Why is the defense doing this?
8 They are overplaying their hand. It is desperation time,
9 folks. Throw anything and everything at Mr. Young, get the
10 jury thinking about no one else.
11 It was more the same with the finances and
12 Mr. Walsh. This was a dog and pony show. Bring somebody
13 in, spend half a day talking about the Youngs' finances, put
14 up some graphs, put up some charts, put up a lot of red
15 numbers, even though they weren't really in the red, even
16 though none of their accounts was overdrawn by more than a
17 small amount. Do all of this in the hope that maybe, just
18 maybe, the jury will forget what and who this case is really
19 about. Don't fall for it.
20 Mr. Lowell made a point about the three different
21 charts. You may recall a series of questions on
22 cross-examination about whether a particular entry on the
23 chart was for a Radio Shack in Oxnard, or a Radio Shack in
24 Chapel Hill or a CVS in Santa Barbara and a CVS in Chapel
25 Hill. Seriously. Think about any occasion where you had to
1 go back and collect receipts, whether it was for a long
2 weekend or business trip or whatever.
3 Now, think about what these people were trying to
4 do, not just collect the documents, but then to parse and
5 categorize each one. On this point, do you remember a
6 series of questions that I asked Mr. Walsh about the amount
7 of time that he had spent, the software that was at his
8 disposal, the comprehensive set of records that he had? I
9 think you all got the point there, but I just want to make
10 sure, judging by the cross that occurred. The point was not
11 to suggest that Mr. Walsh has more resources at his disposal
12 than the government. The point was, that he had far more
13 time, far more tools, far more experience, far better
14 information than the Youngs, because it was their work that
15 Mr. Walsh was attacking with his testimony.
16 On this subject, they made a big deal about how
17 the numbers on the three different charts were different.
18 Well, of course they are. There were different purposes for
19 each chart. One was for Mr. Baron that he asked for kind of
20 off-the-cuff. Give me a rough idea of how much you all have
21 spent. The other one was in connection with this other
22 litigation, where they are trying to compile all the
23 expenses they can possibly think of related to the affair.
24 The third one was for the gift tax reforms to the IRS, where
25 the number is smaller. They're conservative. All of that
1 makes sense.
2 On all of this stuff, folks, we just ask you to
3 please, don't fall for the easy sell. Don't fall for what
4 it looks like. Look underneath it, because you don't have
5 to dig very far to see that it is a false argument.
6 One more thing on this. How many questions did we
7 have to hear about whether the Youngs listed the money, the
8 extra money that they spent that they received from
9 Mrs. Mellon or Mr. Baron on their tax returns? We heard
10 about it at least twice during argument from Mr. Lowell
11 today. There is a simple answer to that. They didn't owe
12 taxes on those monies, so when Mr. Lowell makes a big deal
13 about saying, as he did today, they didn't pay taxes on the
14 1 million some dollars that they received from Mrs. Mellon,
15 or they didn't pay taxes on the difference that they kept
16 for themselves, they don't owe taxes on that money, folks.
17 It is another distraction.
18 I could go on about Mr. Young, but here is the, I
19 think in a way, the bottom line. You heard a lot from
20 Mr. Lowell today about all of the evidence that the
21 defendant says came only from the mouth of Andrew Young. As
22 we've discussed, it's not true as to a lot of what he said,
23 but it is certainly true as to some. On this point, we ask
24 that you please remember this, that's just the way Edwards
25 wanted it.
1 Don't forget this. Mr. Edwards made a choice
2 about who he was going to use. Who he was going to use for
3 this task. Mr. Edwards chose Andrew Young. He chose him
4 for a reason. He says to himself, this is the perfect fall
5 guy. He's not that smart. People on the campaign don't
6 really like him, and most important, no one is going to take
7 this guy's word. No one is going to believe him. This is a
8 guy I can use and throw under the bus when I'm finished with
9 him, and the Greyhound, folks, has been rolling through this
10 courtroom for weeks. Why? You know why.
11 There was lots of evidence in this case about
12 Mrs. Mellon wanting to be -- wanting Mr. Edwards to be
13 president, hosting fund raisers, making campaign buttons,
14 putting out election signs and so forth. I want to be clear
15 on this one. No one from the government is disputing that
16 Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Mellon became friends or that they
17 became fond of one another, but as Judge Eagles will
18 instruct you later today, the government doesn't have to
19 prove that influencing the election was her sole or only
20 purpose. The law isn't as the defense suggested during
21 opening, that influencing the election must be the purpose
22 of the payments. That's not the law.
23 Let's face it, commonsense tells you anyway, that
24 people rarely act with a single purpose in mind. The
25 question for you will be, did she have a real purpose in
1 wanting to influence the election. Is that what this was
2 about, just speaking colloquially. Is that what this was
4 A few things on this. First, don't forget the
5 note that started the whole thing. Anything the Senator
6 needs that is necessary and important for his campaign, send
7 the bills to me. That's the first clue about where her head
8 is when this all starts.
9 Second, think about the notes that came with the
10 checks. One of them said, "For the rescue of America." It
11 didn't say, for Mr. Edwards' personal needs. It didn't say
12 for his creature comforts. It said, "For the rescue of
13 America," and Mr. Lowell posed a rhetorical question to you,
14 and I'm going to flip it and pose it the same way. If
15 Mr. Edwards isn't running for president, does Mrs. Mellon
16 give him any of this money? Of course not. I mean, we can
17 have a debate about whether if he isn't running for
18 president she even gives him one thin dime, but what you
19 know for sure is, that she isn't giving him $725,000 if he's
20 not running for president. No way, no how.
21 These monies were plainly for the purpose of
22 influencing an election for federal office. There is simply
23 no question about it.
24 Now, what about Mr. Edwards' knowledge about
25 Mr. Baron's money and his scheme to hide Ms. Hunter? The
1 evidence on this comes from the beginning to the end of the
2 episode. Right after Mr. Toben takes them to the airport,
3 Mr. Edwards calls Toben to say, Thank you. Mr. Toben knew
4 what he was talking about, you know what he's talking about.
5 After they're already gone on the road, they're
6 into January, shortly before -- or late December, shortly
7 before the Iowa caucuses, somewhere in there, Mr. Baron told
8 Mr. Edwards on the plane that he wouldn't have to worry
9 about the press any more, because he has taken care of it,
10 he's flying them around the country. That's what Mr. Davis
11 told you.
12 Long after it was all over, you got Mr. Edwards
13 telling Wendy Button that he knew all along that Fred was
14 footing the bit. I don't have time to digress on this issue
15 of whether Ms. Button said it was all for Quinn or whether
16 Ms. Button made it clear in the testimony that Edwards was
17 talking about the escapade. I'll leave it to you-all's
18 memory on that. The record is pretty clear.
19 Mr. Higdon showed you all the phone contact
20 between Ms. Hunter and Mr. Edwards and Mr. Young and
21 Mr. Edwards during December and January. Does it make
22 sense -- oh, by the way, you know, you also have phone
23 records in evidence you can look at that established all of
24 the calls that happened from December 12th when Ms. Hunter
25 was caught at the Whole Foods, up until December, I don't
1 know, 17th or 18th, when they finally get on their way to
2 Florida. There is lots and lots and lots of calls.
3 I don't think it is disputed that a lot of those
4 calls Mr. Edwards was involved in trying to convince these
5 folks to take paternity. Does it make sense to you that
6 Mr. Edwards was as involved as he was, with trying to get
7 Mr. Young and Ms. Hunter to say Mr. Young was the father,
8 but he had no clue about the travel plans or that Fred would
9 pay? No way. Of course he knew. He was in on it from the
10 git-go. It would never have happened without him.
11 Here is a larger point worth emphasizing that I am
12 going to have to do in summary fashion, and now is as good a
13 time as any. None of this would have happened without
14 Mr. Edwards. None of this would have happened if he didn't
15 want it to happen; running for president, having the affair,
16 asking for the Bunny money, accepting the Bunny money,
17 accepting the payments from Mr. Baron, having Mr. Baron make
18 the arrangements for the cross-country travel, Mr. Young
19 actually going cross-country with his family, staying in the
20 race after Ms. Hunter became pregnant, staying in the race
21 after the first National Enquirer article, after the second
22 National Enquirer article, the push to be vice president or
23 attorney general, Nightline interview. None of this would
24 have happened, if Mr. Edwards didn't want it to happen. Of
25 course he knew. He knew it all, folks.
1 A quick word about Mr. Baron's support after
2 Mr. Edwards dropped out of the race. There has been lots of
3 discussion about that, and the argument goes something like
4 this: Because Mr. Baron gave so much support after
5 Mr. Edwards ceased being a candidate, it must be that his
6 intention all along, had nothing to do with Mr. Edwards and
7 running for office, and had everything to do about helping
8 out his good friends Andrew and Rielle.
9 This is why you heard the evidence about Mr. Baron
10 wanting Edwards to be attorney general or about him
11 continuing -- about Mr. Edwards continuing to want to be
12 vice president and so forth. I won't reiterate the
13 testimony that's conclusive on those subjects from
14 Ms. Palmieri and Mr. Hindery.
15 Here is the point. The point is not that those
16 payments after January 30th are charged, because they are
17 not. The point isn't that they can be a basis of
18 conviction, because they can't.
19 The point is, the reason you heard all of the
20 evidence is, is that the reason that those payments were
21 made, had nothing to do with Mr. Baron being friends with
22 Andrew and Rielle, and had everything to do with getting
23 Mr. Edwards into a position of power.
24 Remember, what is charged are the payments
25 Mr. Baron made in December '07 and January '08. Those are
1 the payments you have to make a decision about. What was
2 going on when those payments were made? What was going on
3 when Mr. Baron decided to make those payments? What was
4 going on was, the presidential campaign was in full swing,
5 high intensity mode. Iowa is only three weeks away. It is
6 a hugely important event, and Edwards has just convinced
7 Mr. Young to claim paternity to, "protect everything that
8 they had agreed to work for," in other words, the
9 presidency. That's when Mr. Baron agrees to step in.
10 That's the evidence you should be considering when
11 you think about what Mr. Baron's purpose was in flying those
12 folks out of Chapel Hill and all over the country. There is
13 no question that those payments were made for the purpose of
14 influencing the election.
15 Here is another one. The evidence that
16 Mr. Edwards knew his course of conduct was illegal. I'm
17 going to start with the preliminary point here. The
18 government does not have to prove that Mr. Edwards knew
19 chapter and verse that he was violating section so-and-so of
20 United States Code. What we have to prove and what we
21 anticipate Judge Eagles will instruct you is, that we have
22 to prove that Mr. Edwards knew that his course of conduct
23 was against the law.
24 On this score, we suggest that you take the law
25 from Judge Eagles on this. What is the evidence on that?
1 It's just what I told you all during opening, the repeated
2 lies that he told during a time period when he had no reason
3 to lie, other than to protect himself from criminal
4 liability, and the lies and the evidence shows that all of
5 the lies were in fact lies. The denials that he made were
6 false. The biggest one of all, of course, is the Nightline
7 interview. I'm not talking about the lies in the interview
8 about the affair. I'm talking about the lies about the
10 By the way, you may remember -- you can watch it
11 again if you want. Did you notice how he introduced each
12 one? Did you notice how he introduced the subject of, by
13 the way, Bob, these are allegations from a supermarket
14 tabloid. Did notice when Mr. Woodruff asked him about
15 whether payments were being made to take care of Ms. Hunter,
16 remember one of the first things Mr. Edwards said was, by
17 the way, Bob, these are all allegations in a supermarket
18 tabloid. That's an interesting coincidence. It is quite
19 telling. Both statements were lies.
20 Mr. Edwards said, I never talked to Fred about
21 this. The phone records Mr. Higdon showed you at a minimum,
22 that that's not true. Mr. Lowell says, well, we don't know
23 what happened in those phone calls. True, we don't have a
24 witness about what happened in those phone calls, but what
25 do we have? We know that around that time, there were
1 reports in the press that Mr. Baron was bankrolling this
2 operation. We know that Mr. Edwards goes on and then says
3 on national television that he hasn't spoken to Fred and
4 that same day, Mr. Baron issues a statement saying
5 everything was for Andrew -- my friends Andrew Young and
6 Cheri Young and Mr. Edwards knew nothing about it. That's
7 called circumstantial evidence, and that's how we know what
8 those men were talking about in that series of phone calls
9 Mr. Higdon pointed out to you leading up to the Nightline
11 It is not a coincidence, folks. Mr. Edwards lied
12 about it because he knew what he had done was against the
14 Incidentally, those questions about the use of
15 money to hide the affair during the Nightline interview,
16 that has nothing to do with Mrs. Edwards. That has nothing
17 to do with keeping the existence of an affair from his wife,
18 and then later, we've got the statement to Ms. Button that,
19 I got to take that money line out, that's what she called
20 it. I got to take the money line out for legal and
21 practical reasons. Couldn't admit that, because he knew it
22 was against the law. That's what he does. He denies as
23 much as he has to. He denies it whenever it suits him. He
24 pretends not to know things when it suits him. He lies as
25 much or as little as is necessary.
1 I didn't know about the Bunny money, did you?
2 Rielle wasn't in Florida, what are you talking about; or, in
3 the Nightline interview, I never paid a dime to any of these
4 people that are involved, so if the allegation is that
5 somehow I participated in the payment of money, that is a
6 lie, an absolute lie, which is typical of these kinds of
8 I'm going to stick with the Nightline interview
9 for a moment, and direct your attention to a couple of pages
10 later in the transcript, page 16. Mr. Edwards says, you
11 know, is it possible that Fred wanted to help because they
12 were in a difficult time, of course. Is it possible that
13 he's worried that in fact something had happened with me and
14 he wanted to help, I mean, I think all of these things are
15 possible. Does that sound familiar?
16 A brief word about the incident in the hangar.
17 Mr. Lowell attacked us pretty hard on this and said it was
18 an awful thing that the government did, so I just, on this
19 small point, I want to be clear with the jury about why the
20 evidence came in.
21 The timing of this was the same day that The
22 National Enquirer story came out, October 10th of '07. This
23 was four days after the fight that had happened in the hotel
24 room in Davenport, Iowa. This horrible thing happens. To
25 his face by his wife she says, "You don't even see me."
1 And, what does he do? He leaves for a campaign event.
2 Now, the point is not to make you dislike
3 Mr. Edwards. The point is, this is powerful evidence of
4 where his head is, what his priorities are. His priority
5 wasn't his family, his priority was his campaign.
6 THE COURT: You have three or four more minutes.
7 MR. HARBACH: Thank you, Your Honor.
8 MR. HARBACH: Speaking of his family, Mr. Lowell
9 mentioned Mr. Edwards' children and his parents in his
10 closing statement, and I am going to say nothing about that,
11 other than Judge Eagles' instructions will make it
12 crystal-clear about what role comments like that should play
13 in your deliberations.
14 There is no way I can do it all. How about this
15 one, it was all over in December. I'm not going to spend a
16 lot of time on this. You seen the polls, you seen the
17 emails, you know that the campaign continued. You know
18 people were working really hard. You also know that Mr.
19 Edwards could of quit at any time. The suggestion that he
20 knew in mid November that it is was all over is just
21 nonsense. That doesn't even pass the smell test.
22 Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, nor does the
23 argument that the reason he continued had nothing to do with
24 actually wanting to be president and everything to do with
25 just Mrs. Edwards wanting him to. That doesn't pass the
1 smell test, either.
2 This business about the Youngs being attacked
3 during trial, during closing by the fact that Mr. Young
4 saved voice mails or the fact that they videoed taped some
5 of Ms. Hunter's furnishings. First of all, there was a
6 second video that defense didn't play for you that is
7 evidence that makes it clear what they were doing.
8 Remember the circumstances. The campaign is
9 trashing Mr. Young once he goes on the road. There is a
10 long period of time after the baby is born during which
11 there is radio silence from Mr. Edwards. They are going
12 great guns on this foundation idea, and then Mr. Edwards
13 hangs up on him, and then there is the creepy car ride that
14 you all know well and all the strange things that happened
15 on that, and then he gets a voice mail from Fred saying
16 their phones are tapped.
17 You know, the notion that they were doing this
18 videotaping because it was part of some big criminal
19 mastermind scheme, just doesn't fit. Are these two people
20 who are criminal masterminds, or are these two people who
21 are in deep. They are in very deep and they are freaking
22 out about their own exposure and what they've gotten
23 themselves into. It is as simple as that.
24 I have one last subject before I close:
25 Ms. Haggard and Mr. Thomas. A lot from Mr. Lowell on this
1 during closing.
2 Judge Eagles is about to tell you in a
3 crystal-clear fashion, about the role that opinion testimony
4 from these witnesses should play in your deliberations. I
5 don't have time to read it, but pay close attention to what
6 Judge Eagles tells you about it. It is going to be in her
8 Also remember with Ms. Haggard, she's got bias
9 issues, folks. She is the CFO or the controller for this
10 campaign in '04 and '08. Do you really think when she hears
11 news reports about the $700,000 in potential campaign
12 contributions that come out in an indictment in the summer
13 of '11, that she is going to just roll over to the FEC and
14 say, of course these were contributions that should have
15 been in our forms. Of course not. That wouldn't be good
16 for her, so she has a little bit of a bias problem there.
17 It would not be good for her professionally, and she knows
19 You don't have to think badly of Ms. Haggard, I'm
20 not suggesting that, to know that she was not objective on
21 this issue. Second, she doesn't know the law. The answer
22 that Ms. Haggard gave about why the payments weren't
23 contributions in her view, went something along the lines
24 of, because they were not contributions to the campaign, to
25 urge the public to vote for John Edwards, and they were not
1 qualified expenditures for the same reason. You're not
2 going to hear that anywhere in Judge Eagles instructions,
3 because that's not the law.
4 She also made it --
5 THE COURT: You got about thirty seconds.
6 MR. HARBACH: Thank you, Your Honor. Finally,
7 folks, Ms. Haggard didn't have all the evidence. You do.
8 This is your case to decide, not Ms. Haggard's, not
9 Mr. Thomas', not the FEC's, not the government's, not anyone
10 else's. You are a lawfully impanelled jury in a District
11 Court of the United States. You are the only ones with all
12 the facts, the only ones who will get a proper instruction
13 on the law from Judge Eagles and the only ones who are
14 empowered and qualified to finally decide this case. Nobody
16 All the distractions that came into this case were
17 designed to take you away from the mountain of interlocking
18 self-reinforcing evidence. We ask you to do three things:
19 Focus on the evidence. Don't get distracted. If you focus
20 on the evidence and the law that Judge Eagles is about to
21 instruct you on and your commonsense, it is over.
22 The government submits that the evidence we
23 presented to you establishes unequivocally and beyond a
24 reasonable doubt, that the payments at issue in this case
25 were contributions, and Mr. Edwards knew it, and he knew
1 accepting them was against the law.
2 The only conclusion that is consistent with the
3 evidence and reflects the truth, the truth is, that he is
4 guilty of every charge in the indictment.
5 (Closings concluded.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
3 I, J. CALHOUN, RPR, United States District Court
4 Reporter for the Middle District of North Carolina, DO
5 HEREBY CERTIFY
7 That the foregoing is a true and correct transcript
8 of the proceedings had in the within-entitled action; that
9 I reported the same to typewriting through the use of
10 Computer-Aided Transcription.
11 THIS TRANSCRIPT CERTIFICATION IS VOID, IF THE
12 SIGNATURE IS NOT ORIGINALLY SIGNED BY THE COURT
13 REPORTER WHO REPORTED THIS MATTER.
19 Date: 05/18/12 J. Calhoun, RPR
United States Court Reporter
20 324 W. Market Street
Greensboro, NC 27401