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By JAMES HILL
ABC News

The United States Department of Justice has green-lighted the prosecution of former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged violations of campaign laws while he tried to cover up an extra-marital affair, ABC News has learned.

A source close to the case said Edwards is aware that the government intends to seek an indictment and that the former senator from North Carolina is now considering his limited options. He could accept a plea bargain with prosecutors or face a potentially costly trial.

Edwards has been the focus of a lengthy federal investigation focusing on hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly provided by two wealthy supporters. The government will contend those were illegal donations that ultimately went to support and seclude his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Hunter was a campaign videographer with whom Edwards had a lengthy affair that resulted in a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, now three years old.

If the case were to proceed to trial, legal experts said, the government would have to prove that the intent of the donations was to cover-up the affair so that Edwards could continue his pursuit of the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.

The government’s case against Edwards is expected to rely heavily on Andrew Young, a former close aide to Edwards who falsely claimed paternity of Hunter’s child three weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

Young testified before a grand jury for nine hours in 2009, and also wrote a tell-all book that alleged Edwards was the mastermind of a well-funded, well-orchestrated plan to keep the affair from becoming public.

Edwards acknowledged paternity of the child last year, but has steadfastly maintained that he has broken no laws.

Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    It couldn’t happen to a better liar, err I mean scum, oops, I mean dirtbag, darn, I mean guy. Wow, I just used 3 different terms for lawyer and politician.

  • Guest2020

    And with those three terms you only hit the tip of the iceberg.

  • SurfCityTom

    take a plea bargain, this will drag on for years. He’s got the resources to hire the best attorneys available; he might not even have to pay Wade Smith.

    And people wonder why attorneys and politicians have such bad reps. They never learn from the mistakes of others. Anyone remember another former Senator who was all but a shoo in for the Presidential nomination and chided the media to catch him if they could. Senator Gary Hart aboard the boat, Monkey Business?

  • Guest757

    I hope he doesn’t take the plea.. Wouldn’t he look good in black and white strips ??? Or maybe an orange jumpsuit.. LOL BYE BYE JOHN

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