Former vice presidential nominee John Edwards has been indicted on federal campaign finance charges for allegedly using campaign donations to conceal an extramarital affair while he was running for president in 2008.
Edwards [was] the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004 and a candidate for president in 2004 and 2008. The charges stem from a years-long investigation into whether Edwards used money from two supporters to cover up an affair with Rielle Hunter, a former campaign videographer with whom he had a child. [...]
"John Edwards has done wrong in his life — and he knows it better than anyone — but he did not break the law," his attorney, former White House Counsel Gregory Craig, told the Los Angeles Times last week. "The government's theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is novel and untested. There is no civil or criminal precedent for such a prosecution."
Edwards, 57, has reportedly been offered deals to lessen criminal penalties in return for admission of guilt, but he has refused to plead guilty to a felony offense.
USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards contains six counts, including conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements.
Edwards was dogged by rumors of extra-marital affairs throughout the 2008 campaign but repeatedly denied them. In October 2007, The National Enquirer reported that Edwards was involved in a long-time affair with a staffer. Edwards denied that, too. In January 2010 he acknowledged it was true and that he was the father of the woman's now 3-year-old child. His marriage to the late Elizabeth Edwards collapsed as a result.