Edwards May Be Nailed by Own Emails
Sources say candidate acknowledged payments to pregnant mistress
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2011 4:36 AM CDT
Former presidential candidate John Edwards outside the federal court in Winston-Salem, N.C.    (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

(Newser) – Prosecutors possess evidence from John Edwards' own emails that help prove a key part of the case against him and make his decision to opt for a trial instead of a plea bargain look even riskier, sources tell AP. In the emails, Edwards and his former speechwriter, Wendy Button, discuss a draft statement in which he acknowledges paternity of his child with Rielle Hunter and knowledge of payments to keep her in hiding, the sources say.

To convict Edwards on charges of violating campaign finance law, prosecutors need to prove that he had knowledge of the money spent to keep Hunter out of the public eye. The emails and notes prosecutors have obtained appear to provide ample evidence, the sources say. The prosecutors presented their evidence in an attempt to persuade Edwards to take a deal, but he still turned them down, refusing to accept anything that would take him away from his children, according to one insider.