John Edwards Trial Verdict LIVE: Was Federal Law Violated? [+Video]


The complicated criminal trial of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards looks to be nearing an end. The trial doesn't just focus on presidential politics or marital infidelity, but delves heavily into the underworld of campaign finance. 

The trial is seen by some as vindication against Edwards, who cheated on his wife while she had breast cancer.  

LIVE UPDATES: Thursday May 31 3:05 PM: Edwards jurors have verdict on count 3, accepted, received illegal campaign contributions from Rachel Mellon - @NBCNews

3 PM: Watch the verdict LIVE here

Jurors have reached a verdict in the criminal trial of former U.S. Senator John Edwards, accused of using campaign funds to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, a court clerk said on Thursday.

The verdict was due to be read in court shortly in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Tuesday 1:20 PM April 24 Highlights: The aide who helped John Edwards hide his mistress's pregnancy is back on the witness stand today, telling a jury about money that flowed from a wealthy supporter.

Former aide Andrew Young testified Tuesday for a second day at Edwards' criminal trial. Edwards has taken a plea of "not guilty" to campaign finance violations.

"Young testified that Edwards' aides sought money from several people in 2007 to hide Rielle Hunter while Edwards was running for the 2008 presidential nomination," Huffington Post reports.

Young says money from heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon started flowing in June 2007 with two checks totaling $35,000. Young says the money was deposited in a bank account controlled by him and his wife, Cheri.

Young says Edwards assured him the money was legal.

6:00 PM Video recap of Day 1 of the John Edwards Trial: 

5:15 PM The Associated Press reports that the biggest revelation from Day One of proceedings was that former Edwards aide Andrew Young — expected to be the government's chief witness — reached out to other witnesses in the case ahead of the trial to ask about what they planned to say on the stand, a possible violation of federal law

5 PM Who is John Edwards? Prosecutors in the criminal campaign finance case against former Senator John Edwards described him on Monday as a manipulative politician who refused to let his affair or his mistress' pregnancy sideline his presidential ambitions.

Edwards' defense asked jurors to "follow the money," saying the nearly $1 million in illegal campaign funds he is accused of secretly accepting as he sought the 2008 Democratic nomination instead went to a former campaign aide who used the money to pay for his $1.5 million house.

10 AM Case Background Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, two-time presidential candidate and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, was indicted last June in federal court on six counts alleging his role in a scheme to cover up an extramarital affair and its resulting pregnancy while he was running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and more than a million dollars in fines.

The indictment against Edwards charges that money paid by prominent Edwards donors Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron of nearly $1 million, which was used to help his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their child, amount to campaign contributions because they were made with the purpose of protecting Edwards' presidential candidacy.

The case is bizzare, unearthing the lengeths candidates go to hide their misdeeds as they seek the highest political office.

"It's a clear legal debate over whether personal expenditures given for a candidate while he's campaigning - money for personal uses - is a campaign contribution," Lee Goodman, an attorney who specializes in federal and state election laws, told CBS News.  

Elizabeth Edwards in Focus: In 2004, Elizabeth Edwards revealed that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated and continued to work within the Democratic Party and her husband's One America Committee. According to Wikipedia:

"On March 22, 2007, during his campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination for the presidency, Edwards and his wife announced that her cancer had returned; she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, with newly discovered metastases to the bone and possibly to her lung. They said that the cancer was "no longer curable, but is completely treatable" and that they planned to continue campaigning together with an occasional break when she requires treatment. After Edwards' January 21, 2010, admission that he fathered a child with his mistress, Elizabeth legally separated from him and intended to file for divorce after a mandatory one-year waiting period.On December 7, 2010, Elizabeth died of her breast cancer."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to properly cite language that was originally used without attribution to Wikipedia and The Huffington Post. We apologize to our readers for this violation of our basic editorial standards. Mic has put in place new mechanisms, including plagiarism detection software, to ensure that this does not happen in the future.