Skip to main content

Contempt hearing postponed for former John Edwards aide

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:07 AM EST, Mon January 30, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A judge postpones the hearing because a prosecutor has not been assigned
  • A former aide is accused of turning sealed documents over to federal investigators
  • A judge will determine whether Andrew Young and his wife will be held in contempt of court
  • Edwards' former mistress is suing Young and his wife for invasion of privacy

Hillsborough, North Carolina (CNN) -- A judge postponed a hearing Monday in a case that pits a former aide to John Edwards against the one-time presidential candidate's former mistress.

Andrew Young, a former Edwards aide, was scheduled to appear in court Monday, but a judge postponed the hearing because a prosecutor had not yet been assigned to the case.

Former mistress Rielle Hunter alleges that Young, his wife and attorneys, violated a court order when they gave sealed depositions to investigators in a federal corruption probe. The Youngs' attorneys have said they were following orders from a federal judge.

Edwards has admitted to having an affair -- and fathering a child -- with Hunter while he was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Hunter filed a motion in Edwards' home state of North Carolina requiring the Youngs and their attorneys to state why they should not be held in criminal contempt of court for allegedly violating the protective order filed in November 2010 by state Superior Court Judge Carl Fox.

If convicted of contempt, Young and the others could face punishments including 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Hunter's contempt allegation is the latest battle in a larger legal fight.

She is also suing Young and his wife for invasion of privacy to reclaim materials she says belong to her, including personal photographs and an alleged sex tape showing Edwards and Hunter.

Young wrote a book, "The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down," in which he describes an elaborate plan to use money from two wealthy benefactors to allow Edwards to maintain a relationship with Hunter.

That alleged plan is a chief issue in a pending federal case against Edwards, who was indicted last year on charges including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws regarding donations to and payments from his failed 2008 presidential campaign. Edwards denies any wrongdoing.

At issue in the upcoming trial against Edwards is whether money given to support Hunter by the then-candidate's benefactors should have been considered campaign donations, a contention Edwards' team has disputed. They maintain the money was a gift to Hunter.

If convicted on all counts, Edwards could face 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.

Edwards' trial was scheduled to go forward this month, but was delayed until at least March 26 because Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition. His cardiologist recommended a postponement, saying Edwards is scheduled to undergo surgery next month.

Edwards has to provide the court with a written medical update by February 28, according to court records.

InSession's Grace Wong and Jessica Thill contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT