Judge: John Edwards has life-threatening condition

Friday , January 13, 2012 - 2:36 PM

Michael Biesecker

GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Ex-presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition that will require surgery next month, his doctor told a judge presiding over Edwards' upcoming court case over possible campaign violations.

A cardiologist for the 58-year-old ex-North Carolina Senator wrote two letters about his condition to Judge Catherine Eagles who talked about them Friday during a hearing to consider whether the trial would go on later this month. She delayed it until at least March 26.

Edwards walked into the courtroom in Greensboro without assistance and appeared healthy. The judge requested that he be there.

The judge did not give any more details about what sort of surgery or what illness Edwards may have. The doctor also wrote that Edwards should avoid driving and travel, including to the court proceedings.

"The public has an interest in a speedy trial, and this case has already been continued twice," Eagles said. "Ordinarily, I would try to manage something like this. But clearly there are some limitations on Mr. Edwards due to real and serious health issues."

Prosecutors had said they were ready to try Edwards on six felony and misdemeanor counts related to nearly $1 million from wealthy donors used to help hide his pregnant mistress during his 2008 White House run.

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