John Edwards trial: prosecutors drop charges


Former US Sen. John Edwards leaves with his mother Bobbie Edwards (R) and daughter Cate Edwards (L) after the seventh day of jury deliberations at federal court May 29, 2012, in Greensboro, NC. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)


Sara D. Davis

John Edwards will not face a new trial, prosecutors said today, after a judge declared a mistrial in his corruption case two weeks.

Federal prosecutors officially dropped their case against the former presidential candidate today, Politico reported.

A North Carolina jury acquitted Edwards of one count of accepting illegal contributions, but couldn’t reach a verdict on five others.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said he was “proud” of the case brought against Edwards regardless.

“We knew that this case — like all campaign finance cases — would be challenging. But it is our duty to bring hard cases when we believe that the facts and the law support charging a candidate for high office with a crime,” Breuer said in a press release.

The Justice Department accused Edwards of accepting $1 million in illegal campaign donations during his run for the presidency in 2008.

The 59-year-old former Democratic senator said money from two wealthy backers supported his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, The Associated Press reported.

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The lawyers who defended Edwards lauded the decision to forgo another trial.

“While John has repeatedly admitted to his sins, he has also consistently asserted, as we demonstrated at the trial, that he did not violate any campaign law nor even imagined that any campaign laws could apply,” they wrote in a prepared statement.

Prosecutors filed an “order for dismissal” today with the US District Court in North Carolina, according to Fox News.

The defense team argued Edwards didn’t use the money – which went unrecorded – to fund his campaign, but rather keep his affair from wife Elizabeth, who has died of cancer in late 2010.

“I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong,” Edwards said after a judge declared a mistrial, according to Fox.

More from GlobalPost: John Edwards jury reaches partial verdict, judge declares mistrial