- Last Updated: 6:13 AM, May 5, 2012
- Posted: 4:14 AM, May 5, 2012
GREENSBORO, NC — The love-smitten 97-year-old donor to John Edwards became “apoplectic” when she realized he was using her as a cash cow.
Rachel “Bunny” Mellon happily gave $725,000 in secret checks she thought were going for Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign — but was outraged when Edwards aide Andrew Young asked for $40 million for a private foundation after the campaign was over.
“She was rather apoplectic at the size of the figure they requested. She was really upset,” Mellon confidante Bryan Huffman testified. “She said, ‘I cannot believe that the senator really wanted me for my money all along.’ ”
Mellon again became outraged when she learned that some of the checks were being used as hush money to cover up Edwards’ affair with his mistress, Rielle Hunter.
“She thought maybe you should probably pay for your girlfriend yourself,” Huffman said — drawing laughter in the federal courtroom and even a smile from Edwards.
Huffman was followed on the witness stand by political consultant Peter Scher, who was asked by a campaign aide, Josh Brumberger, to help deal with Hunter in 2006.
Scher, who had been campaign manager in Edwards’ 2004 vice presidential run, met Edwards in New York.
“I told him if it was true that he was having an affair with Ms. Hunter, he should not run for president,” Scher said. “If it was true, eventually it would come out and it would destroy his political career.”
Edwards told him Hunter would stop traveling with him — but she continued to so do. And within weeks Edwards fired Brumberger.