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Charlotte lawyer withdraws from Edwards defense

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A well-known Charlotte defense lawyer has plans to withdraw from the team representing John Edwards in his upcoming criminal trial.

Jim Cooney filed the request in US District Court on Thursday. Cooney has advised Edwards on the case since before the former presidential was indicted in June. Cooney would not comment Friday.

Notice of his departure comes three days after Edwards added two Greensboro lawyers to his defense team who had represented his mistress Rielle Hunter in a lawsuit over ownership of a sex tape.

Edwards faces six criminal counts related to campaign finance violations over nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors used to hide the pregnant Hunter as he sought the White House in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection is to begin April 12.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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