Rielle Hunter: Sen. John Edwards trial witness: deputy manager of Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign

13 April, 2012

 Loews Hotels Regency Edwards

Loews Hotels Regency Edwards


Andrew Young, the former aide who wrote the tell-all book about Edwards’ 2008 presidential bid, is on the prosecution’s list, as is his wife, Cheri.
• Rielle Hunter, the former campaign videographer at the heart of the case, could be called by either side.

• Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the centenarian who provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for living expenses for Hunter, and Lisa Blue, the widow of Fred Baron, the wealthy Texas lawyer, who helped out, too, are on the government’s list.
Julianna Smoot, deputy manager of President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign and a former professional fundraiser for the Democratic party, is on the prosecution’s witness list. She works in Chicago. Until March, she was the White House social secretary. She graduated from Smith. She is a daughter of Edward B. Smoot and Julia L. Smoot of Willow Springs, N.C.

High-profile North Carolina lawyers Joseph B. Cheshire V, Jim Cooney and Wade Smith are on Edwards’ list of possible witnesses.

Both Cooney and Smith represented Edwards for a time. Smith withdrew from Edwards’ team when it became clear he might be called as a witness to talk about a phone conversation he had with Alex Forger, Mellon’s lawyer.

Bryan Huffman, an interior decorator from western North Carolina who was involved in the transfer of money from Mellon, is listed as a potential witness for both the prosecution and defense.

Cate Edwards, the grown daughter of the former presidential candidate and one-term Democratic senator, could be called to testify on her father’s behalf.

Edwards’ former law partner David Kirby is on both lists. Josh Stein, a state senator from Raleigh and former campaign manager for Edwards’ senate run, is listed as a witness for the prosecution.

[April 12]More than three years after the federal government launched an investigation into the financing of the cover-up of Edwards’ affair with fledgling videographer Rielle Hunter, jury selection is finally set to begin.

Both sides agreed at a pre-trial hearing that the video made by Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter should not be shown to jurors deciding whether the Democrat is guilty of campaign finance violations. Hunter sued Young and his wife in 2010 over control of the sex tape, which had been left at a property controlled by Young. During the resulting court fight, campaign aide Andrew Young gave sometimes conflicting accounts of how many copies he made of the sex tape he purloined and how many people saw it.
A state judge found the Youngs in contempt of court for not following his orders to turn over all copies of the tape, though the contempt threat was dropped once the Youngs complied.
The case is about far more than a coverup of infidelities; that, among other things, Edwards’s maneuvering left him open to manipulation and bribery by illicit contributors had he reached the White House. Edwards maintains contact with Hunter for the sake of seeing their daughter who lives a couple of hours away, in North Carolina. Edwards “wants to always be there for Quinn,” Edwards’s legal team is led by well-known Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell, who assumed control of the defense after a series of other lawyers, including Obama’s former White House counsel Gregory Craig, left the case amid rumors that they were unable to secure a plea deal to Edwards’s liking. Added to Senator John Edwards defense lawyers Washington attorneys Abbe Lowell and Chris Man : Alan Duncan and Allison Van Laningham, who both represented Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, in her civil lawsuit against former Edwards aide Andrew Young over items she claims were stolen from her, including a videotape purported to show Edwards and Hunter having sex.

 


[March 22] In an interview with “Extra” from early 2007 Rielle Hunter confirmed that she approached Edwards in a Loews Hotels Regency bar.
— A call girl working for alleged “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina told investigators she was paid to have sex with former U.S. Sen. John Edwards when he was in New York raising money for his failed presidential bid, DNAinfo has learned.
Edwards is the first big name to surface in connection to Gristina’s alleged prostitution scheme run out of an Upper East Side apartment.

Edwards allegedly hooked up with one of Gristina’s high-end hookers in 2007 when the dashing pol from North Carolina brought his then high-flying presidential campaign to the Big Apple.
The one-night fling allegedly took place at an Upper East Side hotel suite and was arranged by an aide with help from a New Yorker familiar with Gristina’s prostitution ring, sources said.
“On The Inside” sources said investigators were able to substantiate that Edwards was in New York on a fund-raising tour at the time of the alleged encounter.
Records show the Edwards campaign spent thousands of dollars for near-monthly stays at the Loews Hotels Regency at 540 Park Ave. on the Upper East Side in 2007, along with stays at several other Manhattan hotels including a Comfort Inn on West 39th Street.
The Loews Hotels Regency is also where he reportedly met videographer Rielle Hunter, who bore Edwards a love child while his wife, Elizabeth, battled cancer.

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