John Edwards Speaks Outside Courthouse After Verdict

BY Katelyn Polantz  May 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM EST

Updated 5:55 p.m.

John Edwards outside federal court in Greensboro, NC Tuesday. Photo by: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

The verdict’s in: John Edwards is not guilty for misusing campaign money. That’s just one aspect of the case — on five other charges, the judge declared a mistrial.

The not guilty verdict that jurors reached Thursday afternoon on the single count was related to the charges of accepting illegal campaign contributions from Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a wealthy donor.

The Associated Press reported that Edwards does accept some guilt in a moral sense.

Watch his full speech:

“While I do not believe I did anything illegal, or ever thought I was doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins,” Edwards said on the courthouse steps, the AP wrote.

Associated Press reporter Michael Biesecker explained on NewsHour at the start of the trial the issues at stake.


Edwards is accused of conspiring to use campaign money to hide his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, from his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who died of cancer in 2010.

The trial of the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee began more than a month ago and has been marked by a number of quirks, the Washington Post has reported. Jurors have had to balance their attention between salacious details of Edwards’ affair with the dense nuances of campaign finance law. The jury has deliberated for nine days while court watchers noticed bizarre behavior from alternate jurors.


For some insight into Edwards’ political importance years ago, here’s a transcript of a NewsHour interview with historians in 2004, when the North Carolina politician delivered a speech at the Democratic National Convention. At one time, the NewsHour noted, Edwards was a young attorney known for his skill in courtroom oration.