John Edwards Indicted

The former presidential candidate is charged with six counts related to campaign contributions used to hide his mistress.

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John Edwards (the Washington Post)

A federal grand jury in North Carolina has indicted John Edwards on charges of violating federal election law for allegedly using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign donations to conceal an extramarital affair during his 2008 run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former presidential candidate was charged in a six-count indictment with conspiring to receive the contributions from political donors and using them to hide his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and her pregnancy from the public so that his campaign would not be damaged.

Prosecutors say the illegal contributions paid for Hunter’s living and medical expenses and travel needed to shield her from reporters, all in violation of federal election laws that limit individual contributions to a campaign and require reporting of donations.

“We will not permit candidates for high office to abuse their special ability to access the coffers of their political supporters to circumvent our election laws," said Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. "Our campaign finance system is designed to preserve the integrity of democratic elections -- for the presidency and all other elected offices -- and we will vigorously pursue abuses of the kind alleged today."

Hunter worked as a videographer for Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign. After initially denying that he had fathered a child with her, Edwards finally admitted to being the father of Hunter's daughter, Quinn, in January 2010. Shortly afterward, he separated from his wife, Elizabeth, a prominent Democratic activist. She died of breast cancer in December.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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