Former Democratic presidential nominee John Edwards has been indicted on charges he violated election laws and allegedly used $1 million in illegal campaign donations to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. Hunter was a videographer on John Edward’s 2008 campaign when the two started having an affair.
â€œMr. Edwards is alleged to have accepted more than $900,000 in an effort to conceal from the public facts that he believed would harm his candidacy,â€ Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said in a press statement. â€œAs this indictment shows, 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.â€
Edwards repeatedly denied accusations he was sleeping with Hunter and later also denied he was the father of her child, even after photos of him visiting them in a hotel surfaced in the National Enquirer. In January of last year, Edwards finally admitted to everything and claimed fatherhood of Hunter’s daughter Quinn.
After his admission of the affair and his paternity of Hunter’s child, Edwards separated from his wife, Elizabeth Edwards. She subsequently died of breast cancer in December.
John Edwards has been the target of a federal investigation since 2009. Investigators have reportedly focused on whether John Edwards used illegal campaign funds to pay Rielle Hunter and former aide Andrew Young to keep them quiet about the affair. Andrew Young was initially put forward as the father of Hunter’s baby instead of Edwards. The case rests on an investigation of two of Edwards’ supporters who allegedly give him money to cover up the affair and babyÂ to keep his political ambitions alive.
If convicted on the conspiracy charge against him, John Edwards could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He also could receive five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions.