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John Edwards Trial Turns Tragedy Into Crime, Says Eliot Spitzer

Posted: 04/24/2012 2:27 pm Updated: 04/24/2012 2:39 pm

John Edwards

As the John Edwards criminal trial entered its second day, Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer weighed in on the drama during a conference call about his new Current TV show.

Spitzer, who resigned from office in 2008 after he was caught buying prostitute services, is hesitant to criminalize Edwards, who is charged with several felonies relating to illegally accepting campaign funds to hide his extramarital affair.

Here is an excerpt from Spitzer's remarks, via ABC News:

This is an unfortunate tragedy of a story, where the jury, at the end of the day, will have to distinguish, based upon what will be very careful instructions from the judge, distinguish between a human tragedy and what may or may not be a crime. And I do not know the evidence or the law sufficiently to render an opinion on that. I have long thought that, especially because I was attorney general and governor, I should speak with some greater care with respect to ongoing litigations and trials, but I think the pivotal issue here is whether or not the Justice Department is properly -- or improperly; I want to be neutral in the way I phrase it -- turning a human tragedy into a crime.

Spitzer said he worries that the issues "will be fought over in the courtroom emotionally" rather than argued based on campaign finance laws.

On Tuesday, the former Edwards aide who once claimed paternity of his child took the witness stand. Andrew Young testified that he helped Edwards funnel money from a wealthy donor into an account used to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress.

The AP reports:

Young testified that Edwards' aides sought money from several people in 2007 to hide Rielle Hunter while Edwards was running for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Young says money from heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon started flowing in June 2007 with two checks totaling $35,000. Young says the money was deposited in a bank account controlled by him and his wife, Cheri.

Young says Edwards assured him the money was legal.


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Filed by Katy Hall  |