John Edwards' trial focuses on paper trail, money exchange
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GREENSBORO—John Edwards trial over whether or not he received illegal campaign funds took a break from discussing the intimate details of the affair to focus on the chain of events surrounding the exchange of money.
One of the key witnesses to the testimony was the middleman, who signed over the checks from the rich heiress to Edwards former campaign aide. Before the jury heard more witness testimony, lead defense attorney Abbe Lowell said he would object if any more campaign staffers took the stand to talk about the affair. He said they are not denying Edwards lied about it and want to focus on what this case is really about.
Bryan Huffman took the stand to recount his role as the middleman who transferred checks from heiress Bunny Mellon to Edwards' former campaign aide Andrew young. Huffman was Mellon's friend and interior decorator. It was Mellon's idea to write large checks for his furniture so that her attorney, Alexander Forger, wouldn't find out about it.
But her attorney did find out. So Forger was called to testify. He became suspicious when he got a call from her accountants who said she had an overdraft due to a check for $150,000. Forger saw the check was written out to Huffman, but the money was deposited into the wife of former aide, Andrew Young's bank account.
Forger said Mellon was sending the money to benefit Edwards. Later on Forger met with Edwards. Edwards denied knowing anything about the checks.
Forger then called Fred Baron, Edwards former campaign finance manager. Baron also denied knowing about the checks and said it sounded like a scam created by the Youngs.
Forger continued to investigate and spoke to Edwards former attorney, Wade Smith. Forger was told Edwards had acknowledged the money was for his benefit.
The prosecution expects to finish calling witnesses by next Thursday. Then the defense will call their witnesses to the stand.