John Edwards trial: Ex-aide Andrew Young offers more details about hiding mistress

Dylan Stableford
The Ticket

The third day of the John Edwards conspiracy trial was a lot like the second, with former aide Andrew Young offering more details about how the candidate instructed him to hide his mistress, Rielle Huntereven after Edwards dropped out of the 2008 presidential race.

Young, who was putting Hunter up in his home at the time, testified on Wednesday that he and Edwards "came close to throwing punches" at an "angry" meeting about Edwards' mistress in June of that year, according to ABC News.

The tense June 18 meeting took place in a hotel room near Washington "shortly after Edwards had given a rousing speech in support of Obama," the Associated Press noted.

It was the third straight day of testimony from Young, the prosecution's star witness.

The ex-aide said that he complained to Edwards' campaign finance chairman, Fred Baron, about hiding Hunter but was rebuffed because the campaign hoped Edwards would be tabbed as a vice presidential candidate for the 2008 Democratic ticket. "[Baron] told me I needed to stay focused on the job at hand," Young said. "He told me to take a deep breath. Do the best I can." Baron, he said, "wanted us to try and hold on until the Democratic National Convention."

More from ABC:

During that meeting with Baron in Texas, Young was told to summarize the expenses on Hunter.

A rundown of those expenses totaling more than $200,000 was shown in court today. The expenses included more than $28,000 for Hunter's BMW, $2,400 for housekeeping as well as $40,000 in cash as Hunter's allowance

On Tuesday, Young told the court he was instructed by Edwards to approach Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, the widow of banking heir Paul Mellon, "and ask for a noncampaign expense, something that would benefit him."

Young said he used the money from Mellon to rent Hunter a house for $2,700 a month and bought her a BMW at Edwards' direction.

Edwards faces six criminal counts—including conspiracy, four counts of receiving illegal campaign contributions and one count of making false statements—for allegedly soliciting and secretly spending over $925,000 to cover up his affair with Hunter. If convicted on all six counts, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

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