|Day seven for jurors in former Senator Edwards' trial|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2012 09:43|
A jury in North Carolina was to reconvene Tuesday for a seventh day of deliberations about whether former U.S. Senator John Edwards broke federal campaign finance laws as he tried to conceal an affair while running for president in 2008.
Jurors took a three-day break in Greensboro for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles told them not to read or talk about the case while they were away.
Eagles held a private meeting about an undisclosed "juror issue" at the end of Friday's court session with Edwards and both sides of attorneys. The judge said she may need to discuss the matter with the parties again on Tuesday morning.
Edwards, 58, is accused of seeking more than $900,000 from heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and trial lawyer Fred Baron to keep voters from learning he was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination four years ago.
The defense says the payments were intended as personal gifts, not campaign contributions, to shield Elizabeth Edwards from her husband's affair with Rielle Hunter and Hunter's pregnancy with his child. Elizabeth Edwards died in 2010.
John Edwards, the Democrats' 2004 vice presidential nominee, faces possible prison time and fines if convicted of any of six felony counts stemming from the payments.
The charges include conspiring to solicit the money, receiving more than the $2,300 allowed from any one donor, and failing to report the payments as contributions.