John Edwards indicted on federal charges - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

John Edwards indicted on federal charges

A grand jury is slapping John Edwards with criminal charges. The former presidential candidate is accused of violating campaign finance laws in the scandal that took down his marriage and tarnished is image.

Federal prosecutors say John Edwards broke the law when he allowed two key supporters to pay to keep his pregnant mistress out of sight and issued a warrant for his arrest. 

The two time presidential candidate faces six counts - including conspiracy four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements. 

Last minute attempts to reach a plea deal were apparently unsuccessful .

The case centers around more than a million dollars from two key donors. Edwards' lawyers claim the money was meant to keep his affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter a secret from Edwards' wife Elizabeth who died of cancer in December.

But prosecutors argue the money allowed Edwards to continue his 2008 presidential bid and should have been reported under campaign finance laws. 

Hunter was just one in a parade of witnesses to appear before the grand jury in Raleigh during the two year criminal investigation. 

Former Edwards aide Andrew Young who initially claimed to be the father of Hunter's baby said hundreds of thousands of dollars paid for Hunter's travel and rent on a California home.

 

Earlier this year, Edwards hired a big-name Washington attorney to help him fight possible criminal charges. Greg Craig served as White House council for President Obama and has defended a slew of high-profile clients including President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

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