The trial of John Edwards sank to new lows Friday morning with the bombshell testimony of Bryan Huffman, who claims that his 101-year-old friend, Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon, unknowingly provided the ‘hush money’ used by the Senator to cover up his affair with his pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter.
The 101-year-old charity supporter met the Democratic presidential contender in 2005 at her Virginia home, and was so impressed with him that she immediately lent him her personal plane.
“There goes the next president of the United States,” Huffman recalls his friend commenting to him as Edwards taxied away.
Huffman said she then contributed $725,000 to his campaign.
He added that Mellon was so taken with Edwards that she made sure that her personal lawyer was unaware of her under the table donations, which is alleged to have formed the bulk of the secret fund intended to keep Hunter’s presence a secret.
Mellon was unaware of how the money was spent, Huffman said.
In addition to the $725,000 for Edwards, Mellon donated another $6 million to his political action committee and non-profit organization.
Huffman will be back on the stand later Friday and he will be followed by Mellon’s personal lawyer Alex Forger.
The checks became known as “Bunny money” to those involved in the cover up and were disguised as payments for furniture.
“It gave her something to look forward to,” Huffman told the court. “The campaign gave her a wonderful focus and something to really hold onto.”
When asked if Mellon was aware there was a $4,600 legal limit on campaign donations, Huffman replied, “She thought it was a little low.”
At the time of the donations Edwards was fighting for the Democratic nomination against Barack Obama and then-Senator Hillary Clinton.
“One note said she was paying me back for money I had bet on a horse. She was having fun with this,” Huffman testified. “It was called the furniture business.”
When Edwards’ presidential campaign ended, Huffman says Edwards and Mellon began talking about a foundation that would fight poverty.
Young has testified that he made the request after Edwards’ asked him to.
“Bunny Mellon was a little upset that she was going to be out on the street corner, and they were going to have her farm for the foundation,” Huffman said.
In an August meeting in Mellon’s home, Forger talked to Edwards about the money and Edwards said he didn’t know anything about the money or the foundation, Huffman told the court.
Other former Edwards aides have previously testified that Edwards was aware of the money and the plans for a foundation.