Edwards On Trial
POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 4:40pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 4:44pm
Jury selection began Thursday in the federal criminal trial of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards.
Edwards is accused of illegally using nearly a million dollars in donations to quiet his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, during his 2008 campaign.
The former Senator and one-time trial attorney is charged with six counts including conspiracy, illegal use of campaign contributions and making false statements, charges that could bring 30 years in prison and a million and a half dollars in fines.
His late wife, Elizabeth, looms large over this case.
"I know that the Edwards trial team will be concerned about the fact that people really just can't get over the fact that he cheated on his wife while she had cancer and as she was dying," says trial consultant Charli Morris.
Edwards publicly admitted he did wrong, but insists he didn't break the law.
His defense argues what he used private donations, not campaign money, and that federal prosecutors are radically interpreting the law.
Public opinion seems to be stacked against the former politician.
A new survey by Public Policy Polling shows 73 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Edwards, and 57 percent already believe he's guilty.