Former presidential hopeful John Edwards was more "a spectator than a participant" at a 2007 meeting in which his now-deceased wife, Elizabeth, railed at two political donors because they had maintained ties to his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
Jennifer Palmieri, a former aide to Edwards who is now the White House deputy director of communications under Barack Obama, said Elizabeth Edwards was angry at Fred Baron and his wife Lisa for taking Hunter on a shopping spree.
"Rielle Hunter was a loose cannon and Fred and Lisa thought it was important to keep the relationship going," Palmieri said, in describing the 2007 meeting at a hotel in Davenport, Iowa, at which she was present.
"Elizabeth just wanted Rielle out of their lives entirely," she said.
John Edwards, 58, is accused of violating federal election laws by soliciting more than $900,000 in illegal campaign contributions, mainly from Baron and heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, as he pursued the presidency in 2008.
The federal government contends that he sought money to conceal the affair, knowing revelations that he was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife and had fathered Hunter's child would destroy his campaign.