Just when you thought the Volkswagen emissions drama couldn't become any more of a circus, a disgraced former politician knocks on the door.
John Edwards, the former U.S. senator and two-time presidential candidate and former hugely successful lawyer for plaintiffs against major corporations, is said to be lobbying a U.S. District Judge to play a leading role in the private class action lawsuits against Volkswagen over its widespread emissions scandal, according to a report Tuesday from Reuters.
"This case has ingredients I've spent my life working," Edwards told Reuters in an interview. It also has the potential to put him at the forefront of one of the most high-profile legal cases in the world and make him an even wealthier man. Volkswagen could potentially be on the hook for billions in settlements, leading to a generous windfall to the top lawyers involved."
See photos from the Volkswagen emissions scandal:
Volkswagen emissions scandal
John Edwards (yes, that one) looks to profit from Volkswagen lawsuits in his day job as a lawyer
The Oct. 5, 2015 photo shows a man sitting on a bench in front of the Volkswagen factories in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. For Volkswagen, the cost of its cheating on emissions tests in the U.S. is likely to run into the tens of billions of dollars and prematurely end its long-sought status as the world's biggest carmaker. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP)
FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2015 file photo President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. Michael Horn at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Volkswagen's top U.S.-based executive is expected to testify before Congress Thursday that he first learned in 2014 of emissions problems with the German automaker's diesel cars. But in prepared remarks, Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn doesn't directly address when he was first told his company had developed on-board computer software designed to deceive emissions tests. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
Hans Dieter Poetsch, new chairman of the board of directors of the Volkswagen stock company, arrives for a press statement at the company headquarter in Wolfsburg, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. He fills a position vacated when longtime chairman Ferdinand Piech resigned in April. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
This photo taken on Sept. 29, 2015 shows the power plant of the Volkswagen factory in the city Wolfsburg, Germany. Thanks to Volkswagen, Wolfsburg boomed in West Germanyâs postwar rebirth and today the town and the company are inseparable. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
This photo taken on Sept. 29, 2015 shows the power plant of the Volkswagen factory and the Science Center, right, in the city Wolfsburg, Germany. Thanks to Volkswagen, Wolfsburg boomed in West Germanyâs postwar rebirth and today the town and the company are inseparable. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
In this Sept. 30, 2015, photo, John Swanton, spokesman with the California Air Resources Board explains how a 2013 Volkswagen Passat with a diesel engine is evaluated at the emissions test lab in El Monte, Calif. Three years after Volkswagen opened a pollution testing center in Oxnard, Calif., VW admitted that it manipulated emissions results in 482,000 U.S. diesel vehicles to make them appear to run cleaner, raising questions around Volkswagenâs only test center in North America. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
New cars of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen are ready to be shipped at the Volkswagen factory in Emden, Germany, Sept. 30, 2015. (Ingo Wagner, dpa via AP)
This Sept. 28, 2015 photo shows Volkswagenâs only test center in North America in Oxnard, Calif. Three years after Volkswagen opened the pollution testing center, VW admitted that it manipulated emissions results in 482,000 U.S. diesel vehicles to make them appear to run cleaner, raising questions around Volkswagenâs only test center in North America. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Newly appointed Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller smiles during a press statement after a meeting of Volkswagen's supervisory board in Wolfsburg, Germany, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, after CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday amid an emissions scandal. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
RETRANSMITS graphic that moved Oct. 3; graphic shows vehicles affected by Volkswagen's emissions violations and estimated deaths in the U.S. from the excess pollution; 3c x 5 inches; 146 mm x 127 mm;
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Edwards, for those who can only keep so much political dysfunction in memory at one time, admitted to cheating on his cancer-stricken wife with his campaign videographer — and was later charged with using illegal campaign contributions to conceal that affair.
But this is America, where celebrities can rejuvenate their battered public images with a single apologetic visit to Oprah's couch and politicians can return to their earlier careers as lawyers in order to fill the power void with money. Lots of it.
Volkswagen admitted in September to creating software to cheat on emissions standards testing for its TDI diesel engines. The scandal is said to impact more than 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Edwards-Kirby, the North Carolina law firm led by Edwards and focused on personal injury cases, first filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen on behalf of affected owners in the state shortly after the original scandal was revealed.
"Volkswagen has admitted to deceptive tactics effecting EPA emission tests, and we intend to make sure that Volkswagen customers in North Carolina who've been affected, whose trust in the automaker was violated, have their voices heard and receive the restitution they deserve," Edwards said in a statement at the time.
The litigation Edwards is now looking to help steer represents a collection of hundreds of similar class action lawsuits representing some 500,000 Volkswagen drivers, according to Reuters.
Perhaps it's fitting that one cheater would prosecute another.
Reps for Edwards-Kirby did not immediately respond to our request for comment.