The trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged campaign violations was delayed this week after his doctor told a judge that Edwards has a serious heart condition which will require a medical procedure next month.

According to the Associated Press, "Federal Judge Catherine Eagles did not disclose the exact nature of Edwards' illness Friday or what procedure he needed. However, she said the two-time presidential candidate had 'three episodes' and indicated his condition could be life-threatening if left untreated."

Edwards is facing six felony and misdemeanor charges of having concealed nearly $1 million in campaign donations that he used to hide his pregnant mistress. Rielle Hunter, during the 2008 campaign.

Edwards spokespeople have refused to comment on his condition. However, the small amount of information released by the judge -- that Edwards is currently taking medication for the condition, that he has been advised not to travel until being treated, and that it will take only a few days to recover from the procedure -- suggested to the AP and others that the problem might be something on the order of a clogged artery, which could be unclogged by the insertion of a stent.

The trial has been delayed until at least March 26, but a legal expert consulted by CNN doubted that Edwards' illness would have any effect on the verdict.

"At the judge's request, Edwards was in court," the AP notes. "He didn't appear to have any outward signs of illness, though he was without his usual quick smile or bounce in his step."

Photo by John Edwards 2008 on flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons