[Pictured Above: ELIZABETH EDWARDS, JOHN EDWARDS with RIELLE HUNTER (in background, holding video camera above head). Taken December 30, 2006 at "Edwards Hometown Rally, Chapel Hill, NC.--Click image to enlarge.]
The story John Edwards presented one week ago, August 8, on ABC's Nightline has been falling apart.
It's completely demolished with this photo just obtained by DBKP. It also raises new questions about how much Elizabeth Edwards knew about the affair and when.
From John Edwards' August 8 statement:
In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough.
I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then.
The above statement was released to the press hours before John Edwards appeared on Nightline to "confess" his involvement in an affair with Rielle Hunter.
Edwards disappeared from public view after a July 30 speech in Washington, D.C., where he had to evade reporters seeking to question him about the his confrontation with reporters from the National Enquirer.
Edwards had been caught on July 22 by The National Enquirer's reporters attempting to leave the Beverly Hilton after meeting with Rielle Hunter and their daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter.
He would be secluded for ten days--until the August 8 statement and Nightline appearance.
One assumes that his wife, Elizabeth--according to many reports "a smart attorney"--had seen John Edwards' statement before he released it to the press.
Edwards said that "With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006". The above photo was taken on December 30, 2006. In attendance at the event were also Edwards' three children, who took the stage with Elizabeth Edwards at one point, as well as John Edwards' parents, Wallace and Bobbie Edwards.
As Patricia, the reader who sent DBKP the above photo--as well as other photos--observed: "If Edwards had discussed his affair with his family and they had begun their "healing process" in 2006, it was not evident on December 30. They must have had a very busy New Year's Eve."
Although other photos have surfaced in the last several days that show Edwards and Hunter together at the end of 2006, this is the first photo that places John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth together with Hunter at the same time and place--one day before 2006 ended.
Mickey Kaus, at Slate, asked yesterday [How Big a Victim is Elizabeth?]:
Let me raise the alternative, third possibility contained in B(ii): there is a Second Coverup and Elizabeth Edwards, rather than being its victim, is in on it up to her eyeballs! ** Why do I think this is a real possibility? First, Elizabeth was in on the first coverup, allowing her husband to go out and deny the initial Enquirer reports of his affair. (He admits to Woodruff that she knew these denials were false,) Second, she might see her legacy as bound up with her husband's--and also want her children to have a father with a political future.*** Third, Elizabeth Edwards is famously smart, and a lawyer. Does still she really think the Enquirer is just making up the part about how Edwards' affair with Hunter restarted around the time Hunter got pregnant? Does she think her husband knew nothing about the payments?
In his footnote to the above, Kaus notes that, "She [Elizabeth Edwards] could still be anguished!"
The photo above seems to support Kaus' "alternative, third possibility" quoted above.
We will have more to say on this--and other allegations that Edwards made in his August 8 statement and ABC interview--later in the day. DBKP will also release at least one more of the pictures we now have from the event pictured above.
Until then, new questions arise.
One observation until then: unless Elizabeth Edwards is superhumanly tolerant of Rielle Hunter, who the National Enquirer says is the mother of Edwards' daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, the last 24 hours of 2006 at the Edwards' household must have been "very busy" indeed.
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