Add this to John Edwards' many aspirations: Supreme Court Justice. Government prosecutors rested their case against the onetime presidential contender, now on trial for campaign finance violations, Thursday. As this trial goes, it was a relatively tame day: No Rielle Hunter testimony, no talk of love or bromances. According to The News & Observer's Anne Blythe,"Prosecutors wrapped up Thursday with some of the driest testimony of the past three weeks, as two FBI agents discussed pages of phone records, invoices, bank statements and credit card bills. A former Edwards supporter also testified about the trial lawyer’s dreams of higher office – possibly even an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Yep, that's the exciting tidbit: After losing the Democratic Iowa caucuses in January of 2008, John Edwards had changed tactics, lobbying Obama in hopes that he might be appointed to the Supreme Court, apparently.
“We talked about a more elaborate long-term goal of Mr. Edwards, which was to be a Supreme Court justice,” Edwards’ former senior economic adviser, Leo Hindery Jr., testified at Edwards’ federal corruption trial.
Edwards was also willing to take a spot as vice president or attorney general, said Hindery, who is now at New York-based private equity firm InterMedia Partners.
Willing is a long way from "being," and as we've said before, Edwards has changed dramatically in the eyes of the public since those days. He's on trial facing a possible 30 years in prison if convicted of taking money from wealthy donors Fred Baron and Bunny Mellon to hide his mistress and baby—willingly and purposely, so as to not hinder his presidential run, say prosecutors. That's about as far from a Supreme Court judgeship as one can get, which must be the prosecution's purpose in bringing up this information: It's another attempt to show Edwards' ambitions yet lack of underlying morals, it would seem.
They went on to conclude the trial with 20 minutes of footage of an interview Edwards had given in 2008 with Bob Woodruff for Nightline in which he said he wasn't the father of Rielle Hunter's baby, and that he "had no idea his donors were paying to hide her," writes Palmeri. (Edwards finally admitted the affair in August 2008.) The prosecution is painting the picture of a guy who lies. Writes Palmeri:
He also denied he was the man photographed holding his daughter at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in July 2008.
“I don’t know who that baby is,” he said in the video. “I have no idea what that picture is.”
Regardless of the sex, lies, and videotape nature of all this, Edwards is giving off the appearance of confidence with regard to the trial. He reportedly asked his defense team “That’s their case?” As for the defense's case, as Blythe writes, "Edwards’ attorneys contend he did not break the law, but that nearly $900,000 provided by two wealthy supporters were personal gifts that went to others, not to the candidate."
It's expected that Judge Catherine Eagles will hear defense motions to dismiss the case Friday. If she does not dismiss, the defense begins their side on Monday.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.