John Edwards Indicted for Using Campaign Funds to Cover Up Rielle Hunter Affair

The former presidential candidate was indicted Friday for allegedly breaking campaign finance laws

John Edwards went to great lengths to cover up his extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter (and an out-of-wedlock child that resulted) while he was running for president in 2008. In fact, the politician reportedly went so far as to use his campaign funds to help keep the scandal quiet.

Now, a federal grand jury has charged Edwards with breaking campaign finance laws. He was indicted Friday in North Carolina on six counts, including conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements. He is expected to appear in a Winston Salem Middle District Courthouse this afternoon.

The former North Carolina senator, 57, allegedly awarded hush money to his mistress, as well as his former aide Andrew Young, during the scandal. Young even claimed he was the father of Edwards and Hunter's now-3-year-old daughter Quinn, but Edwards finally came clean in January 2010.

Edwards admits that he used the funds to hide the affair, but he maintains that he did so to keep it from his wife, Elizabeth Edwards -- not to help his bid for presidency.

"The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law," Greg Craig, one of Edwards' lawyers, said in a statement last week. "John Edwards has done wrong in his life -- and he knows it better than anyone, but he did not break the law."

Edwards was given the chance to reach a plea agreement, but he chose to fight the charges instead.

Elizabeth Edwards stood by her husband during the campaign, but the couple finally split in January 2010. Elizabeth lost her six-year battle with cancer in December. She and John were married for 33 years and have four children together.

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