Andrew Young's day in state court delayed

ablythe@newsobserver.comNovember 1, 2011 

Andrew Young, the former John Edwards aide who wrote a tell-all book about the former U.S. senator's 2008 presidential bid, will face criminal contempt accusations in state court next year, not this month.

Judge Mike Morgan rescheduled the hearing for January.

Young, his wife, Cherie, and federal prosecutors have been subpoenaed by lawyers for Rielle Hunter, the videographer with whom Edwards had an extramarital affair and a daughter.

Hunter sued the Youngs over a property dispute that includes a videotape that purportedly shows her sexually involved with Edwards.

She recently accused the Youngs of secretly passing information from that state court hearing - information sealed by a judge - to federal prosecutors involved with a separate criminal case against Edwards.

A judge was set to hear arguments on the contempt accusations next week, but the federal criminal charges against Edwards further complicate the proceedings in state court.

Federal prosecutors accuse Edwards, 58, of secretly obtaining payments from two wealthy friends to hide Hunter from the public while she was pregnant. The prosecutors contend the payments, which exceeded $900,000, were campaign contributions that not only weren't reported, but also exceeded legal limit. They say the payments were meant to help Edwards keep his presidential bid alive.

Edwards and his attorneys say the payments were personal gifts - not campaign-related - that went from one party to others, not him. He has said he did not break the law.

The state case involving the property dispute between Hunter and the Youngs is somewhat related to the federal criminal case. Andrew Young is expected to be a key witness for the prosecution in the federal case.

Last week, federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles to help them make a case to quash subpoenas initiated by Hunter's attorneys. Eagles did not issue a ruling, but said she was puzzled that prosecutors had to get information for the criminal case against Edwards from the state case.

Edwards is scheduled for trial in January.

Blythe: 919-836-4948

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