Cate Edwards to Testify at Father's Trial

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John Edwards' daughter, Cate Edwards, is expected to testify Tuesday in the former U.S. senator and presidential candidate's ongoing corruption trial.

Cate Edwards would be the first family member to do so.

The indicted politician's daughter, 30, broke down in tears and had to leave the courtroom earlier this month amid revelations of Edwards' misdeeds.

Her mother, Elizabeth, passed away in December 2010.

Cate Edwards Photo

The defense began laying out its case Monday, shifting the focus from Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter to the specifics of campaign finance law.

Judge Catherine Eagles threw out most of the proposed testimony from former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas after prosecutors objected, arguing his opinions and past FEC rulings are irrelevant to the case.

Eagles sent the jury home as Thomas previewed his testimony, saying the use of nearly $1 million to cover up Edwards' affair with Hunter wasn't illegal.

Thomas said in his opinion, "This is a clear-cut case that the payments were not campaign contributions," and thus, did not have to be reported as such.

Even before Edwards was indicted last June, Thomas wrote in a letter that the "payments would not be considered to be ... campaign contributions."

The "payments did not constitute a violation of the law," he said.

But the judge ruled that information would be inadmissible. Edwards attorney, Abbe Lowe, protested, telling her he thought her decision might constitute a "reversible error" that potentially could be overturned on appeal.

Eagles retorted, "That sounds like you are arguing with me."

Earlier Monday, the jury did hear from Lora Haggard, the chief finance officer for Edwards' 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

From the stand, she said she never thought the money from wealthy donors Bunny Mellon and Fred Baron ever had to be reported to the FEC.

She said of the money that has him facing jail time, "They were not contributions to the campaign to urge the public to vote for Mr. Edwards."

Prosecutors say it absolutely was, as Elizabeth knew he was having an affair with Rielle Hunter and the funds were to conceal the affair from the public, thus protecting his image in the midst of a serious White House run.

It's still unclear whether Edwards himself will testify, but Cate has been by his side daily, and she could take the stand as early as today.

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Don't know how she can defend her lying, thieving, cheating, disgusting self absorbed father. If he gave a crap about Elizabeth or his children with her he never would have done what he had done, and if he cared about this rag bag Realle Hunter he wouldn't have denied her or that child either. He is disgusting. I'm so glad he is going down and will never sit in the White House. I hope ever day for the rest of his life he is miserable.

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This is such a sad situation for Cate. She has already lost her mother to cancer & now she may lose her father to prison due to stupidity.