John Edwards (yes, that one) looks to profit from Volkswagen lawsuits in his day job as a lawyer

John Edwards Seeking Payday
John Edwards Seeking Payday

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:

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.