The Justice Department has given prosecutors approval to seek charges against former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged campaign law violations in connection with attempts to hide an extra-marital affair, ABC News reported.
The network, quoting a source close to the case, said Edwards is aware of the decision and that the former North Carolina Democratic senator is exploring his options.
The government will contend that hundreds of thousands of dollars provided by two Edwards supporters actually went to Rielle Hunter, Edwards’s mistress. Those payments, prosecutors will argue, were illegal donations.
Hunter was a campaign filmmaker when she had a lengthy affair with Edwards. That affair resulted in a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, who is now three years old.
The Justice Department is expected to rely on the testimony of Andrew Young, a former Edwards aide who initially claimed paternity of Hunter’s trial three weeks before the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
In a statement, Edwards attorney Gregory Craig said that Edwards did not break the law. “The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law,” he said. The federal government continued the investigation even though investigators found that no money from the Edwards campaign was involved.”
Craig continued, “The Justice Department has wasted millions of dollars and thousands of hours on a matter more appropriately a topic for the Federal Election Commission, not a criminal court.”