Longtime white-collar defense lawyer Abbe Lowell on Friday joined the legal team defending former presidential candidate John Edwards against alleged campaign finance violations, the Blog of Legal Times reported.
A partner at the law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP, Lowell brings decades of experience representing politicians and high-profile clients to Edwards’ team.
And his entrance comes as Edwards’ original team from the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP withdraws from the case. That team included former White House counsel Gregory Craig and former associated White House counsel Clifford Sloan, whose representation was limited to Edwards’ first few court appearances, according to court filings.
Spokesmen for both Craig and Lowell declined to comment except to confirm the switch.
But NPR’s Nina Totenberg, who first reported the change on Friday, wrote that friends of Edwards say he decided to change attorneys for financial as well as tactical reasons. Edwards apparently could not afford to keep on Skadden, which is one of the nation’s most expensive law firms.
Edwards was indicted in June and charged with conspiracy, false statements and accepting illegal campaign contributions. The case against him alleges he used the money from contributions to cover up an affair he was having with his mistress, Rielle Hunter, which produced a child.
Updated: To include confirmation from spokesmen for Craig and Lowell as well as details from Totenberg’s report.