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Entries in Indictment (4)

Thursday
Jun162011

Mug Shots of John Edwards Released

U.S. Justice Department(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Marshals Service has released mug shots taken of John Edwards after he was booked in North Carolina earlier this month on charges of conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions and providing false statements.

ABC News secured the release of the mug shots after filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The 57-year-old former U.S. Democratic Senator and one-time vice presidential candidate was indicted earlier this month on six federal counts that he used political donations to hide an extramarital affair he was having with a woman filming his campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

According to the Justice Department, what Edwards did was illegal because he used the contributions to prevent a possible sex scandal from derailing his chances of winning the Democratic nod.

Edwards insists he did not break federal election campaign laws.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Indicted John Edwards Insists 'I Did Not Break the Law'

John Edwards (L) exits the Federal Courthouse with his daughter Cate Edwards and speaks to a crowd of reporters in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Steve Exum/Getty Images (WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- Speaking after a federal grand jury in Raleigh, N.C., handed down a six-count indictment against former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday, he says he did nothing illegal.

Edwards was indicted for allegedly using more than $900,000 in campaign funds to hide his mistress during the 2008 Democratic presidential race.

"There's no question that I've done wrong and I take full responsibility for having done wrong," said Edwards today. "And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I've caused to others. But I did not break the law and I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law."

Edwards faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and or a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge, if convicted.

The charges, following a two-year investigation, include conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements.

"This is an unprecedented prosecution, much less an unprecedented civil case," Gregory Craig, lead counsel to John Edwards, said Friday. "No one would have known or should have known or could have been expected to know that these payments would be treated or should be considered as campaign contributions and there is no way that Senator Edwards knew that fact either. He will enter a plea of not guilty, he has broken no law, and we will defend this case vigorously."

The case against North Carolina Democrat, which called on more than 100 witnesses, will seek to prove that hundreds of thousands of dollars were allegedly used illegally to seclude and support his mistress Rielle Hunter, so Edwards could continue his campaign for the presidency in 2008.

The federal investigation of Edwards began a few months after the National Enquirer had cornered him at a Beverly Hills hotel in October 2007. The supermarket tabloid began to run a series of stories alleging that an adulterous affair occurred between Edwards and Hunter, his former campaign worker.

A few weeks later, in an exclusive interview with ABC's "Nightline," Edwards finally admitted to the affair -- but denied paternity of Hunter's child. In the interview, Edwards also said that he was in the dark about the expensive scheme to keep Hunter out of the public eye.

Edwards' lawyers have argued the hundreds of thousands of dollars were gifts from friends of the former senator, who intended to keep the affair secret from his wife Elizabeth, who died of cancer in December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

John Edwards Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

ABC News(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- John Edwards was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on charges that he misused campaign funds to cover up his extramarital affair, ABC News has learned.

The case against Edwards, which called on more than 100 witnesses, will seek to prove that hundreds of thousands of dollars were allegedly used illegally to seclude and support his mistress Rielle Hunter, so Edwards could continue his campaign for the presidency in 2008.

The federal investigation of Edwards began a few months after the National Enquirer had cornered him at a Beverly Hills hotel in October 2007.  The supermarket tabloid began to run a series of stories alleging that an adulterous affair occurred between Edwards and Hunter, his former campaign worker.

A few weeks later, in an exclusive interview with ABC's Nightline, Edwards finally admitted to the affair -- but denied paternity of Hunter's child.  In the interview, Edwards also said that he was in the dark about the expensive scheme to keep Hunter out of the public eye.

"I had nothing to do with any money being paid, and no knowledge of any money being paid, and if something was being paid, it wasn't being paid on my behalf," Edwards said.

Edwards' lawyers have argued the hundreds of thousands of dollars were gifts from friends of the former senator, who intended to keep the affair secret from his wife Elizabeth, who died after a long battle with cancer in December.

The string of lies began to unravel when Andrew Young, a one-time close aide to Edwards, appeared before a grand jury.  Young had once falsely claimed to be the father of Hunter's child -- and along with his own wife and three children -- went into hiding with Hunter while Edwards continued to pursue his political goals.

In December 2007, the group began traveling by private jets to luxury hotels on a cross-country game of hide and seek.  It was all financed by wealthy Edwards campaign operative Fred Baron, and it was all with Edwards' approval, Young said.

Young and his wife have estimated that it cost Edwards' benefactors $1 million in cash, private jets, and hotel rooms to cover up the affair and Hunter's pregnancy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

John Edwards to Be Indicted Over Use of Campaign Funds

Chris Hondros/Getty Images(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- John Edwards will be indicted on serious criminal charges Friday for allegedly violating campaign laws while he tried to cover up an extramarital affair, ABC News has learned.

Last month, the United States Department of Justice green-lighted the prosecution of the former presidential candidate. The federal government had been investigating for two years the circumstances of how hundreds of thousands of dollars from heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon and lawyer Frederick Baron went to third parties to allegedly cover up the affair between Edwards and his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Government lawyers are likely to focus their prosecution on a couple of key legal definitions: whether the money was an expenditure meant to influence a federal election and whether Edwards or his campaign coordinated it.

Edwards' lawyers will most likely argue that the government is taking too broad a definition of political expenditures.  They could argue that the money was personal, meant not to influence a campaign but to hide an affair from his wife.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio