After Edwards was photographed with Hunter in Beverley Hills in 2007, he became desperate to hide the affair, prosecutors said, relying on Andrew Young to hide Hunter, even claim to be the father of her daughter.
Young collected $725,000 from Mellon, who gave money without asking questions, knowing only that it was going places other than Edwards' official campaign coffers.
"There was probably no one else on the planet who wanted John Edwards to be president more than Bunny Mellon," Higdon said.
An additional $400,000 came from Fred Baron, Edwards' former campaign treasurer, who provided luxury homes and shopping sprees to Hunter.
Prosecutors said Edwards knew about it all, and when he heard Baron talking about the money he gave Hunter, "John Edwards said nothing. No questions, no comments, no denial, no challenge, no nothing."
Edwards, a famed trial lawyer himself, never took the stand in his own defense. Nor did jurors hear directly from Rielle Hunter.
Edwards' defense lasted just three days and consisted mostly of a forensic accounting of bank statements and phone records. That testimony contrasted sharply with three weeks of prosecution witness who detailed Edwards' sordid affair but never said Edwards had any direct knowledge that he was violating campaign finance laws.