Nightly News | May 17, 2012
>>> today in north carolina , a tale of two very different john edwards . was he a bad husband or something worse? was he acriminal. those two portraits were presented to the jury in closing arguments in the edwards campaign finance trial. lisa mrs reports from federal court in greensboro.
>>> arriving with his daughter cate and his parents, john edwards looked more tense than usual for what his lawyer called the most important day of his life. prosecutor robertigdon laid out the government's case using his own campaign rhetoric against him.
>> there are still two different ameri americas. one for all the families who get whatever they need whenever they want it and one for everyone else.
>> higdon said in using almost $1 million from wealthy donors to hide his mistress, edwards violated campaign laws designed to bring the two americas together at election time. john edwards forgot his own rhetoric. his voice indignant, he detailed the skam to protect edwards ' political ambitions by hiding hunter, quote, until the election was over and his wife passed away.
>> his most important point was that he had to know the cover up was a crime. he was too smart not to, and the convoluted money trail proved it.
>> abbe lowell asked jurors to distinguish between a sin and afulany and said edwards already is serving a life sentence for what he's done to his family. lowell tried to pic apart the government's case saying it's based largely on the star witness, andrew young . john's conduct is shameful, but it's human. young's lies on the stand and the government sponsoring those lies is worse, lowell said. lowell said edwards was wealthy enough to use his own money to pay hunter's expenses, but he couldn't bah he was hiding the affair from mrs. edwards . he said edwards still can do good. plea let this sad chapter end and stop with your verdict of not guilty. the jury begins deliberations tomorrow and will decide whether edwards gets to go on with his life or becomes a convicted felon. if found guilty, he could face up to 30 years in prison, brian.
>> lisa myers , greensboro, north carolina ,