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Watchdog group slams John Edwards indictment

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A government watchdog group wants to support John Edwards in a campaign finance case against the former presidential candidate.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked a court Wednesday for permission to file a motion on behalf of Edwards. The group says the federal government's case against Edwards would radically alter campaign law for the worse if it succeeds.

Melanie Sloan, the group's executive director, says the prosecution's argument could theoretically criminalize any expenditure by candidates during campaigns. She says the group isn't seeking to defend Edwards' personal conduct.

The former senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee is accused of using campaign funds to cover up an affair during his run for the White House. He has pleaded not guilty.

His trial is scheduled to begin in January.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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