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Star prosecution witness comes under fierce questioning in John Edwards trial

GREENSBORO, N.C. — John Edwards' lawyers got their first crack at the prosecution's star witness in his campaign finance criminal trial Wednesday, attacking former aide Andrew Young for inconsistencies in his account of the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate's affair with his campaign videographer.

During cross-examination, Edwards' lead defense attorney, Abbe Lowell, focused on discrepancies between Young's tell-all book "The Politician" and what he said this week in court.

Full trial coverage

Analysis by Hampton Dellinger

Using Young's earlier testimony, in which he attributed the discrepancies in his book to the passage of time and the need for more research, Lowell asked Young whether he had corrected his book in the paperback version that came out six months after the hardback copy. Young said he hadn't.

Lowell also asked Young whether he was the kind of person who has a better memory after the fact — and again, Young answered no.

Noting that Young wrote in the book that Edwards wouldn't call his mistress, Rielle Hunter, on the day she gave birth, Lowell asked, "Did you know that, in fact, John Edwards called her in the delivery room?"

Young said he wasn't aware of that call.

At one point, Lowell asked, "You really hate Mr. Edwards, don't you?"

Young responded, "I have mixed feelings."

Lowell said Young gave different accounts of the campaign when he was interviewed by the FBI and when he went on a book tour.

Young was shown invoices of his commissions from political organizations that were actually submitted under his wife's name. Asked whether his wife had ever worked for the Edwards campaign, Young said no.

Young is scheduled to return to the stand for more cross-examination Thursday. His wife, Cheri, who was in court for the first time Wednesday, is expected to be the next prosecution witness.

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