Published: Apr 23, 2012 11:23 AM EDT

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the John Edwards trial are poised to begin making their case to jurors on whether the former presidential candidate violated federal campaign finance laws.
    
Opening arguments are set to begin today morning inside the federal courthouse in Greensboro, N.C.
    
Edwards pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts related to nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy supporters. Much of the money was used to hide the then-married politician's pregnant mistress during his 2008 campaign.
    
Prosecutors are expected to argue that Edwards sought and directed a conspiracy to conceal his affair to keep his presidential hopes alive. Edwards denies violating the law or even knowing about the payments, which his lawyers describe as gifts.
    
The trial is expected to last at least six weeks.