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John Edwards Prosecution for Affair Cover Up Looms

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 25, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, prosecution looms. Federal prosecutors seem set to indict Edwards for the Rielle Hunter affair cover up, citing sources that Edwards misused campaign funds in order to hide his mistress and her pregnancy.

"DOJ has made its decision to move forward with charges," a source told The New York Times.

It is unclear if prosecutors will move for an indictment, which would drag Edwards' name and reputation through the mud once again, or a more low-key plea bargain, reports The Times.

Prosecutors have been investigating the case for two years, and they believe that Edwards misused up to $1 million in campaign funds for the Rielle Hunter affair cover up - including putting her up in luxurious houses and transporting her via private jet in 2008 during Edwards' campaign. Hunter was pregnant at the time, reports MSNBC.

Fred Baron, Edwards' former campaign finance chair, said that he footed the bill, and that Edwards did not know anything about it, according to MSNBC.

Investigators, however, believe otherwise. They think that most of the bill was footed by Baron, and contributions by Rachel Mellon, heiress to the Mellon fortune, reports The Times.

Misusing campaign contributions is a violation of federal law. Funds that are contributed to a candidate can be used for a variety of different purposes - such as to fund their campaign, for transfers to a local committee of a political party, for donations to other State and local candidates, but campaign funds cannot be used to fund a person's personal life.

Keeping a mistress and a love child out of the spotlight during a campaign does not seem to fall under the "permissible use" category.

John Edwards' prosecution and indictment may be coming up in the next few weeks. As for Rielle Hunter, an affair cover up seems to be something worth writing about - she's reportedly shopping around for someone to pick up the publishing rights to her book, reports The New York Times.

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