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2008 Edwards campaign defends 2011 spending

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By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A lawyer for John Edwards is defending his campaign's 2011 spending, saying the expenses were related to last year's criminal probe of the former presidential candidate and a federal audit.

Patricia A. Fiori said none of the $836,712 in expenses disclosed last week went to Edwards or his criminal defense team.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Federal Election Commission says the former North Carolina senator owes taxpayers more than $2.1 million in public matching funds improperly received after he dropped his 2008 run for the White House.

That FEC audit is separate from the criminal case in which Edwards faces six counts related to campaign finance violations over money paid by wealthy donors to hide his pregnant mistress during the 2008 race. Edwards has pleaded not guilty.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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