John Edwards Jury Stuck on ‘Bunny’ Money, No Verdict Yet
The jury in John Edwards’ campaign finance trial ended its second day of deliberations today requesting to review additional evidence, but not indicating they are any closer to reaching a verdict.
The panel of eight men and four women spent spend the day today focusing discussions on one count of the indictment dealing specifically with money obtained from 101-yeard-old heiress and Edwards supporter, Rachel “Bunny” Mellon.
Today marked the second day, since they were charged Friday, that jurors sent a note to Judge Catherine Eagles, requesting a number of trial exhibits related to funds Edwards and his associates received from Mellon in 2007.
The government alleges in count two of a six-count indictment that Edwards and his former aide Andrew Young illegally solicited the money from Mellon as part of the effort to hide his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign. Count three of the indictment contains similar allegations, but is focused on checks Mellon wrote in January 2008, shortly before Edwards ended his quest for the nomination.
Among the exhibits the jury requested is a letter Mellon wrote in April 2007 that is sometimes referred to as the “haircut” letter. Mellon wrote the letter to Young, shortly after the press had seized on the news that Edwards had charged a $400 haircut to his campaign.
“I was sitting alone in a grim mood - furious that the press had attacked Sen. Edwards on the price of a hair cut,” Mellon’s handwritten note reads. “From now on, all hair cuts, etc., that are a necessary and important part of his campaign, please send the bills to me. It is a way to help our friend without government restrictions.”