John Edwards and heart condition‎

A federal judge disclosed Friday that former presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition – a court source confirmed to CNN.
Edwards had sought a delay in his criminal corruption trial, scheduled to begin this month.
Attorneys and the federal judge met in a North Carolina courtroom Friday afternoon for a status hearing regarding the pending trial of Edwards – a former U.S. senator.
Edwards appeared at Friday’s hearing. His lawyers had made the motion for a delay under seal, but some of its details were publicly revealed by the judge in the open hearing.
The criminal trial has been delayed until at least Mar. 26, according to the court source. Judge Catherine Eagles said she has been in contact with Edwards’ cardiologist, who recommended a postponement, saying Edwards is scheduled to undergo surgery next month.
Edwards has to provide the court with a written medical update by Feb. 28, according to court records.
One legal expert, Marcellus McRae, a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor, said he doubted that Edwards’ illness would influence a jury verdict.
“Edwards’s illness may prompt the public, including potential jurors, to view him in a more sympathetic light. However, it is doubtful that this will have any impact on the outcome of his trial” – McRae said. “Given the nature of the charges, his physical condition is of no relevance and he will have in theory recovered by the time the case went to trial in March in any event.”
Edwards’ attorneys asked in December to delay his criminal trial, saying he had an unspecified medical issue.
Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to donations to and payments from his failed 2008 presidential campaign. He is accused of conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws. He denies any wrongdoing.

John Edwards and heart condition
John Edwards.

Ex-presidential candidate John Edwards has a serious heart condition that will require a medical procedure next month, and his illness limits his travel, including to a coming court case over possible campaign violations, his doctor told a judge, who delayed the trial. Federal Judge Catherine Eagles in Raleigh, N.C., did not disclose the exact nature of Edwards’ illness Friday or what procedure he needed. However, she said the two-time presidential candidate had ‘three episodes’ and indicated his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated.
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Federal Judge Catherine Eagles did not disclose the exact nature of Edwards’ illness Friday or what procedure he needed. However, she said the two-time presidential candidate had ‘three episodes’ and indicated his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated.
A cardiologist for the 58-year-old ex-North Carolina senator wrote two letters about his condition to Eagles, who talked about them during a hearing to consider whether the trial on six felony and misdemeanor counts should begin this month. Eagles said jury selection will now start Mar. 26, at the earliest.
Edwards is taking medication and is scheduled to undergo a procedure in February from which it will take several days to recover, Eagles said. She did not describe what the episodes involved or if the procedure would require unclogging arteries or other common treatments. The doctor’s letters and other medical records have been kept under seal by the court.
“The public has an interest in a speedy trial” – Eagles said from the bench. “Ordinarily, I would try to manage something like this. But clearly there are some limitations on Mr. Edwards due to real and serious health issues.”
His doctor had recommended he not drive or travel, but at the judge’s request, Edwards was in court. He didn’t appear to have any outward signs of illness, though he was without his usual quick smile or bounce in his step.
The trial has already been delayed twice, including a continuance granted so Edwards could attend his eldest daughter’s wedding.
Prosecutors took no position on whether the judge should grant the delay due the defendant’s health condition, but said they were ready to try Edwards. He is accused of concealing nearly 1 million dollars in cash and checks from wealthy donors used to help hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 White House run.

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