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Former Edwards Aide Take Stand Against Former Boss

A former aide to John Edwards has taken the witness stand in his criminal trial to testify about the ex-senator's role in allegedly violating campaign finance laws to cover up an extramarital affair.

Andrew Young was the first witness called by prosecutors Monday as they began making their case that Edwards masterminded a conspiracy to use nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.

Young recounted meeting the woman, Rielle Hunter, as she travelled with Edwards in 2006. Young also introduced Edwards to Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, an heiress who provided much of the money at issue.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts of violating campaign finance laws.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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A judge says a key prosecution witness in the criminal trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards contacted other witnesses in the case to ask about their planned testimony, a possible violation of federal law.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said Monday that former Edwards aide Andrew Young called the three other witnesses in the last two weeks. Eagles ruled that lawyers for Edwards could mention the improper contact to jurors in opening statements Monday, but barred using the term "witness tampering" or telling the jury that Young had a one-night stand with one of the other witnesses in 2007.

Young claimed paternity of the child Edwards fathered with his mistress in 2007. Young is potentially the government's most important witness as prosecutors seek to prove Edwards knowingly violated campaign finance laws.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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