A federal judge disclosed Friday that former presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition, a court source confirmed to CNN.John Edwards had sought a delay in his criminal corruption trial, scheduled to begin this month.
Attorneys and the federal judge met in a North Carolina courtroom Friday afternoon for a status hearing regarding the pending trial of John Edwards, a former U.S. senator.John Edwards appeared at Friday’s hearing. His lawyers had made the motion for a delay under seal, but some of its details were publicly revealed by the judge in the open hearing.The criminal trial has been delayed until at least March 26, according to the court source. Judge Catherine Eagles said she has been in contact with John Edwards’ cardiologist, who recommended a postponement, saying John Edwards is scheduled to undergo surgery next month.
John Edwards has to provide the court with a written medical update by February 28, according to court records.One legal expert, Marcellus McRae, a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, said he doubted that John Edwards’ illness would influence a jury verdict.
Mr John Edwards denies knowingly violating the law and has pleaded not guilty. He appeared healthy last month at a pre-trial hearing.The trial start has already been put back once after he said he needed more time to prepare his defence and attend his daughter’s wedding.He admitted he used the money to cover up the affair – but claims two wealthy donors gave him the cash so he could hide the affair from his wife.But prosecutors claim the huge donation was a campaign contribution and should therefore be considered under campaign finance rules and limits.At the time individuals were allowed to contribute only $2,300 to a candidate – and John Edwards did not disclose he had received the money.