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Possible Easley defense?

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Former Gov. Mike Easley never specifically asked McQueen Campbell to file false bills for flights.

Under cross-examination from Easley's lawyer, Thomas Hicks, Campbell testified that he "understood" that Easley wanted him to file the invoices to reimburse himself for repairs done to Easley's Raleigh home.

"He never told you to file a false invoice to his committee?" Hicks asked. "No sir, but I understood what he meant."

"You understood what he meant," Hicks repeated.

The exchange may provide a clue to how Easley intends to defend himself.

Earlier in his questioning, Hicks pointed out that Campbell never issued an invoice to the Easley campaign. Easley may try to argue that the violations entirely the fault of Campbell.

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About the blogger

Ben Niolet joined The News & Observer in 2003 and has covered the Durham County courts and state politics. Contact him at