2008 Edwards interview may play big in jury's mind

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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GREENSBORO, N.C. - A 2008 interview with ABC News may turn out to be a key piece of evidence in John Edwards’ campaign finance trial.

Some legal experts said Friday the interview may be pivotal since Edwards did not testify.

The tape was one of 20 exhibits they requested on Thursday, before receiving all of the evidence in the trial at the suggestion of the judge.

As Edwards spends his days walking around the federal courthouse, waiting, all eyes are on him outside.

But now inside, jurors are able to watch him as well, in that interview.

'"I think it's problematic for John Edwards because it brings up all the lies," legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Kieran Shanahan said.

Prosecutors rested their case with the video.

In it, Edwards lies about the length of his affair with Rielle Hunter and denies being the father of her baby.

The defense has said Edwards is a liar but not a criminal.

Near the end of the interview, he addressed allegations now at the center of some of his criminal charges.

Edwards denied knowing about money his then-finance chairman, Fred Baron, spent to hide Hunter.

"I had nothing to do with anybody being paid," Edwards said. "If somebody was being paid, it wasn't being on my behalf."

Prosecutors said Edwards was well aware of the payments and the money and payments from another donor, Bunny Mellon, are the equivalent of campaign contributions misused to protect his 2008 presidential campaign.

Without Edwards testifying, some legal analysts say it's key, because it's the only time jurors see him responding to some of the charges and it's after he lied when answering other questions.

"I think being able to see him, in color, in that jury room is very powerful, adverse information," Shanahan said.

The jury is expected to resume deliberations Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Before deliberations continue, the judge is meeting with attorneys early Tuesday morning to discuss the jury.