Rielle Hunter Got $9K Monthly Stipend

By: AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: AP (Posted by Kion Hudson)

(AP)-- Records introduced Tuesday at John Edwards' corruption trial show his campaign finance chairman paid the former U.S. presidential candidate's mistress a $9,000 monthly cash allowance, on top of living and travel expenses.

Wealthy Texas lawyer Fred Baron is one of two political supporters who, combined, gave nearly $1 million to help hide Edwards' pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter as the politician sought the White House in 2008. Evidence introduced at the trial showed Baron, who died that year, was making regular deposits into Hunter's checking account, the sum totaling $74,000.

Money from the donors was also used for private jets, stays at luxury resorts and a $20,000-a-month California rental mansion.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to campaign finance violations related to the money used to support his mistress. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Edwards' oldest daughter, Cate, could take the stand as early as Tuesday afternoon. Two weeks ago, she ran out of the courtroom in tears during testimony about her cancer-stricken mother confronting her father about his affair.

His attorneys have said Edwards did not know about the money from Baron and Mellon — and that even if he did, the cash was not a campaign contribution because it was intended to hide Hunter from Edwards' wife, not the public.

On Monday, Edwards' attorneys began his defense by attempting to shift the focus away from the sex scandal to the technical issue of whether Edwards' alleged behavior violated campaign finance laws.

Defense attorneys have not yet indicated if they will call Hunter or Edwards to testify.

Before winning a U.S. Senate seat in 1998, Edwards made a fortune as a personal injury lawyer renowned for his ability to sway jurors. But his testimony would expose himself to a likely withering cross-examination.


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