Patt Morrison for May 31, 2012

John Edwards acquitted on one count, mistrial declared on others in campaign finance case

John Edwards Trial Begins In North Carolina

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Former Senator John Edwards leaves the US Federal Courthouse after the first day of jury selection on April 12, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Today, Edwards was acquitted of one count, and a mistrial was declared in five other counts of campaign finance fraud.

John Edwards was acquitted on one charge of campaign finance fraud, and a mistrial was declared on five other counts when jurors said they couldn't decide if he illegally used fundraising money while he ran for president. The month-long trial exposed Edwards' secret sex scandal with Rielle Hunter that effectively ended his presidential bid in 2008.

The judge initially called jurors to read a verdict on all six counts Edwards had been tried for, before learning that the jury had only agreed to one — which involved to $375,000 given by elderly heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon in 2008.

About an hour later, the jury sent the note to the judge saying it had exhausted their discussions. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would retry Edwards on the other counts, which dealt with $350,000 Mellon gave in 2007, money from wealthy Texas attorney Fred Baron, filing a false campaign finance report and conspiracy.


Michael L. Rich, Assistant Professor at the Elon University of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina

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