“If his affair went public it would destroy his candidacy, and he knew it,” said prosecutor David Harbach. “His mistress was a loose cannon, and he knew it. He made a choice to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars. He made a choice to break the law. That is why we are here.” […] “John Edwards is not afraid of the truth. He welcomes it,” said Edwards’ attorney Allison Van Laningham. “The truth may be a sin, but it is not a crime. John Edwards has not asked us to paint a picture of him as virtuous. … He admits he cheated. He admits he lied.” – John Edwards Trial: ‘Truth May Be a Sin … Not a Crime’

It began today.

Walter Shapiro* has an interesting piece up today on the tragic trial of the idiot pretty boy. Here’s one important snippet:

I am also told that there was an innocent, if comic, reason why Mellon shrouded the donations in secrecy. She wrote the checks to her decorator Bryan Huffman, ostensibly for furniture (“antique Charleston chair” read one memo), and the money was immediately signed over to Young’s wife. The subterfuge, I am told, was not designed to fool the FEC or federal prosecutors. Instead, the hush-hush maneuvering was designed to deceive the one person she feared”“her sternly proper lawyer Alex Forger”“and protect her from another lawyerly lecture on the folly of her infatuation with Edwards.

Josh Gerstein’s take is also worth a read.

It gets down to the intent of John Edwards, which no one knows but him.

Edwards better hope the jury has a different opinion of him than the latest poll. Though it should be understood that the people questioned in the polling give us our current crop of politicians in office. What do they know?

It takes a lot of courage and love for his daughter to stand beside him. He’s lucky to have her and I bet at this point in his life he knows it.

*The author of the article was misidentified as Jonathan Chait, but has been corrected.