A federal judge said on Monday that Andrew Young, a former aide to John Edwards at the center of a criminal prosecution against the former presidential candidate, contacted other witnesses in the case to find out how they would testify, according to the Associated Press.
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AP reported that U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said that Young might have violated federal law when he contacted three other witnesses during the past two weeks. Prosecutors are allowed to mention the contact, she said, but they are forbidden from using the term “witness tampering.”
The revelation came on the opening day of the Edwards trial, which has captured national attention for the sensational circumstances surrounding the onetime Democratic leader’s behavior and the implications that it might carry for campaign finance law.
Edwards is accused of scheming to use nearly $1 million from two political donors to hide his then-pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Young, a former top adviser to Edwards, once claimed, at Edwards's request, to be the father of Hunter’s child. But he later turned against Edwards, writing a scathing book that detailed his former boss’s affair while his wife battled cancer.