- - Thursday, October 27, 2011

NORTH CAROLINA

Judge denies Edwards‘ bid to dismiss case

GREENSBORO — A federal judge denied on Thursday a bid by former presidential candidate John Edwards to have the criminal case against him thrown out, paving the way for a trial to begin in January.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said in Greensboro that the five motions to dismiss were denied without prejudice, meaning Mr. Edwards‘ lawyers can use them at a later date. The former U.S. senator is charged with using campaign funds to cover up an affair he had during his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2008 and then submitting false campaign finance reports to cover his tracks. He has pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Edwards was in the courtroom and displayed no visible reaction to the decision.

Mr. Edwards and his defense team argue that the federal government’s case depends on a completely novel set of legal arguments that have never been validated by a court. But Judge Eagles said it may be that the facts of his case are unique and untested.

The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee had an affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, eventually fathering a child. Prosecutors contend that Mr. Edwards used money from donors far in excess of legal campaign limits to keep the dalliance under wraps.

TEXAS

Perry plan may include skipping future debates

AUSTIN — Rick Perry may skip some upcoming Republican presidential debates after recent rocky performances that have hurt his standing in polls.

Aides say he has committed to participating in a Nov. 9 debate in Michigan but hasn’t committed to any beyond that.

He’s seeking to reintroduce himself to the nation on his own terms. And he’s returning to the play-it-safe strategy he successfully employed in running for governor of Texas.

Mr. Perry has never lost an election. And he debated only when it couldn’t be avoided.

He has long conceded he’s not a strong debater, contending that his personal contact is a key to his success. But it’s unclear whether that will work in a national campaign.

WHITE HOUSE

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