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Tuesday
Jan182011

John Edwards Affair: Grand Jury Indictment Decision Expected Soon

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A long-running federal grand jury probe of John Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign is nearing its conclusion as investigators wrap up an inquiry which has been broadened to include issues beyond the money allegedly used to conceal the affair between Edwards and his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News that a decision on whether to seek an indictment of Edwards is expected within the next several weeks.

"I think it's very close," says one source involved in the case, noting that the government has recently dedicated significant resources to gathering evidence and interviewing key witnesses in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

Former Sen. Edwards and his attorneys have acknowledged the grand jury investigation, but have denied wrongdoing.

The focus of the investigation remains on the more than $1 million allegedly spent to seclude Hunter and former Edwards staffer Andrew Young, who had falsely claimed paternity of Hunter's child, as Edwards continued his pursuit of the nomination.

Investigators are leaning strongly toward the legal conclusion that those payments should have been reported as campaign contributions since they supported -- albeit indirectly -- Edwards presidential campaign.

To bolster the case, sources indicate that the federal government has also been digging deeper into Edwards' past, scrutinizing the transactions of a web of loosely-connected political committees, corporations and non-profit organizations associated with his failed campaign, looking for potential violations of campaign finance and tax laws.

Among the groups facing scrutiny is a non-profit organization -- created by former Edwards' staffers and advisers -- known as The Center for Promise and Opportunity.

Tax records show the center received more than $2.2 million in 2006 from undisclosed donors and spent nearly all of it funding events and travel for Mr. Edwards and associates as he sought to enhance his credentials prior to officially entering the race´╗┐.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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