JOHN EDWARDS’ lawyers have won a key victory in crucial pretrial hearings ahead of his blockbuster federal trial for conspiracy and misuse of Presidential campaign funds.  

Federal U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles ruled Team Edwards  can now question former Edwards loyalist Andrew Young and his wife Cheri about two state court orders finding them in contempt of court during their battle with Edwards’ mistress Rielle Hunter over possession of the sex tape.

 But, Judge Eagles said the lawyer’s questioning may not include negative comments from the bench judges made about the Youngs. 

Federal prosecutors have battled the defense to have both the comments and the contempt orders ruled out of bounds.

As The ENQUIRER previously reported the contempt findings were in the civil court fight over the ownership of a video purportedly showing Edwards and his mistress Rielle Hunter having sex. Hunter sued the Youngs in 2010 to get the tape back.

The case was settled earlier this year and the tape was to be destroyed.

Andrew Young remains key witness in Edwards' criminal trial scheduled to begin later this year.

Edwards faces six felony and misdemeanor counts stemming from funds donated by 101 year old Listerine heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and late Dallas money Fred Baron which Edwards allegedly used to help hide and house his then-pregnant mistress during his 2008 While House campaign.