Glance: A look at the charges against John Edwards

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2011 6:44 PM
Glance: A look at the charges against John Edwards

Two-time presidential candidate John Edwards was indicted on six felony charges Friday related to money that went to hide his then-pregnant mistress. He quickly pleaded not guilty. Here's a look at the charges:

_ Conspiracy: Edwards faces one conspiracy count, with prosecutors arguing that he participated in a scheme to violate federal campaign finance laws by using $925,000 in private money from two wealthy benefactors to help keep his pregnant mistress and love child a secret. Prosecutors said Edwards knew details of the affair would destroy his candidacy and undermine his persona as a devoted family man.

_ Illegal campaign contributions: Prosecutors filed four charges of illegal campaign contributions against Edwards, saying he was part of a conspiracy that willfully and knowingly accepted contributions that exceeded federal limits. The four charges are nearly identical, referencing contributions received in 2007 and 2008 from former campaign finance chairman Fred Baron and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, the widow of banking heir Paul Mellon.

_ False statements: The indictment includes one count of false statements, saying that the conspiracy Edwards participated in knowingly allowed the filing of false and deceptive campaign finance reports that failed to disclose the illegal contributions from Baron and Mellon.

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Source: USA v. Johnny Reid Edwards indictment