to former Secretary of State Warren Christopher about Edwards being vice
president and Young being an adviser on Iraq.
And there have been glimpses of the glitzy lifestyles of those on the upper side of Edwards' two Americas -- private jets taking off from front-yard runways, posh vacation homes and hotel rooms that cost several thousand dollars a night.
There have been seamy moments that might make a parent reach to cover a child's ears. There has been poignant and tearful testimony that is a down-to-earth reminder that, all salacious details aside, the many people tangled up in this case are not just characters in a soap-opera drama that packs a small but stately courtroom each day. They are real people with raw and complicated emotion about circumstances enmeshed in a presidential campaign four years ago.
Cate Edwards, now 30, married and running her mother's foundation, has accompanied her father to court most days, as have his parents, Wallace and Bobbie Edwards.
Defense faults the case
On Friday, a routine trial procedure in which defense attorneys ask for dismissal of a case after prosecutors have presented all their evidence provided a peek at key points and testimony from key witnesses that lawyers might focus on in closing arguments.
Abbe Lowell, the swift-speaking, high-profile white-collar crime defense attorney out of Washington, D.C., who writes his initials on a styrofoam water cup first thing each morning, stood at the podium in front of Judge Catherine Eagles and went through the six charges, count by count.
The credibility of Young's testimony loomed large in Lowell's request to spare the jury from a case that he argued was too weak and riddled with holes to put in front of 12 reasonable people.
Lowell also argued that no testimony had been presented showing Edwards and the people involved in hiding the affair had a criminal conspiracy to break the law.
Further, Lowell contended, there was no evidence that the nearly $1 million from two billionaire supporters was a contribution for "the sole" purpose of influencing the 2008 election, putting a strong emphasis on words used in the six-count indictment. The money, the defense team has contended, was used to hide Edwards' continued affair with Hunter and her pregnancy from his increasingly suspicious and terminally ill wife.
"Mr. Edwards would have expenses for a baby he fathered, whether there was a campaign or not," Lowell said.
Lowell further asserted that a "fatal defect" in the prosecution's case was that no evidence showed Edwards did anything with the specific intent of violating the law or that his billionaire supporters gave the money at the crux of the case as anything other than gifts on which taxes were paid.
"What ounce of proof is there that this was a campaign contribution?" Lowell said.
Prosecutor has answers
David Harbach, a prosecutor with a Harvard law degree who got to know North Carolina while doing his undergraduate studies at Duke University, stood up with his rebuttal to Lowell, almost point by point.
A hand-written note from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon sent to Young, Harbach contended, showed her intent to get around campaign regulations.
"I was sitting alone in a grim mood -- furious that the press attacked
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