As tabloid reports of a sex scandal threatened former Senator John Edwards's presidential campaign last December on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, two lawyers surfaced with written statements that appeared to exonerate the candidate.
One of them, Robert J. Gordon of New York, said that his client, Rielle Hunter, a pregnant 43-year-old filmmaker, was not carrying Mr. Edwards's child. Shortly thereafter, the other lawyer, Pamela J. Marple of Washington, sent word that her client, Andrew Young, an Edwards campaign aide, was the baby's father.
Seemingly issued independently of Mr. Edwards, the statements appeared to deflate the anonymously sourced reports of an Edwards tryst. But what went unnoticed was that the two lawyers shared an important connection to Mr. Edwards that suggests they were part of an orchestrated effort to protect him, one that is continuing even after he admitted last week that he had an affair with Ms. Hunter but denied that he fathered her child.