UPDATED: A federal court judge this morning rejected efforts by former U.S.
Sen. John Edwards to dismiss charges that he violated elections laws
as a presidential candidate.
Edwards spoke briefly with the media outside the federal courthouse in Greensboro. A trial has been set for January.
"What's important now is that I now get my day in court, after all these years I finally get my day in court," Edwards said. "What I know with complete and absolute certainty is I did not violate any campaign laws."
A federal court judge in Greensboro told John Edwards, his defense team and prosecutors accusing the former presidential candidate of violating elections laws that she would have questions for them this morning as she weighs whether to throw out all or part of the case before trial.
The judge's comments capped a day of legal arguments in the case where Edwards, 58, is accused of violating campaign finance laws by secretly obtaining and using contributions from two wealthy supporters to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2008.
Defense attorneys argued on several fronts for dismissal of the case, saying: The charges were unconstitutionally vague; no crime occurred; even if a crime had occurred, the government did not give the former senator "fair warning" that his conduct would violate campaign finance laws.
They also described the case as one driven by a politically motivated prosecutor who pursued a criminal theory that could turn campaign-finance law on its head. "Criminal laws are supposed to be written on the desks of members of Congress," defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued. "They're not supposed to be written on the desks of prosecutors."
David Harbach, a federal prosecutor, argued that the case should move to trial and that the prosecution's theory is not as complex and convoluted as the defense team argued.
Read the full report from Wednesday's hearing and see a photo gallery here.