John Edwards Aid Details Elaborate Cover-Up Plan
Scott Gustin, WGHP, Reporting
GREENSBORO, N.C. — During the morning session, Andrew Young detailed an elaborate plan to cover-up and hide John Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter.
Young detailed how Hunter and Edwards went to Africa in 2006. Young stated he knew about the trip because he went with them to get their shots.
Young said Edwards went to China in 2006. When Edwards returned, Hunter called Edwards on his cell phone and Elizabeth Edwards answered the phone. Elizabeth did not say anything to Hunter but later forced John to call Hunter and end the relationship.
After a political event later that year, Young observed John and Elizabeth arguing. After one of the arguments, John insisted that Hunter be fired from the campaign. Hunter and Edwards did not speak for at least a week following the firing.
Young discussed several incidents where Hunter had difficulty getting in touch with John Edwards. Every time she could not get in contact with him, she threatened to “go public,” Young said. Young said it was his job to “take care” of Hunter.
Edwards was then given the “batphone,” a secret phone used to contact Rielle Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards did not know about the phone.
In Spring 2007, Hunter was living in New Jersey with a friend and business partner. Young said Edwards then asked for money to support Hunter. At first, it was “a couple hundred dollars,” but Young said they soon realized they would need more money to support Hunter.
According to Young, he and Edwards started discussing ways to acquire more money to support Hunter and keep her from “going public.” Young said one reason he refused a direct gift to Edwards was he said he had “trouble getting reimbursed from campaign.”
Young then approached Edwards’ law partner and longtime friend David Kirby. He declined to help.
Young then suggested they approach Fred Baron. Edwards said no because Baron was “close to the Clintons” and “was a gossip.”
When talking about ways to find money, Young at one point said “this is going to be a problem because Ms. Hunter has good taste.”
Young then approached Rachel “Bunny” Mellon who agreed to send money through her decorator in Asheville. Mellon sent money to Bryan Huffman who would then co-sign the checks and then send via FedEx to the Young wife, Sherry, in Chapel Hill. The checks were sent to Sherry in her maiden name.
The checks started as low as $10,000 and eventually reached amounts in excess of $150,000. The first check was sent on June 7, 2007.
Young said once they received funds, Hunter was given on average around $5,000 a month. However, she was occasionally given $12,000 a month. Young said that Edwards asked him to “keep Rielle on a leash,” asking that he make her comfortable and happy, while not giving her all the money.
In late 2007, a crying Hunter called Young desperately wanting to speak with Edwards. Young replied with a joke, stating “Someone better be dying or pregnant.” Young said Hunter replied by saying “No one is dying.”
Young then reached out to Edwards, who was with Elizabeth Edwards at the time. When Young told Edwards the news, John said that Hunter was “a crazy sl*t” and there was a “one in three chance” it was his baby. Young said John also told him to take care of it.
Young said Hunter then threatened to go public if she couldn’t speak with Edwards immediately because “she was tired of living a lie.”
Court is set to resume this afternoon.