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Jury Selection Starts In John Edwards Trial

4/12/2012 3:05 PM ET

Jury selection began Thursday in the election corruption trial of former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, putting the one-time prominent Senator in front of a hometown North Carolina audience.

Lawyers began hashing out a jury in a Greensboro, N.C., courtroom, where Edwards will face six felony and misdemeanor charges.

Edwards, 58, is accused of using $900,000 in donations to his 2008 presidential campaign to support his then-mistress, campaign aide Rielle Hunter, with whom he fathered a child. Hunter is expected to testify at the trial.

A former lawyer and North Carolina Senator, Edwards has proclaimed his innocence and says the charges are politically motivated.

Specifically, the charges against Edwards revolve around conspiracy and violating campaign finance laws. He faces up to $1.5 million in fines and as many as 30 years in prison.

Edwards initially denied that he had fathered Hunter's child but later admitted to doing so. He and his wife, Elizabeth, separated in 2010, and she died from cancer that December. News reports subsequently said she had him written out of her will.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles, a 2010 nominee of President Barack Obama, is presiding over the trial and has said she expects the trial to last about six weeks.

by RTT Staff Writer

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