John Edwards, the American politician and former Presidential candidate, has been charged with using political funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter, reports the Washington Post. A federal grand jury charged John Edwards with breaking campaign finance laws while he was running for president in 2008.
Edwards was indicted in North Carolina today (3rd June 2011) on six counts including conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions and false statements. The charges relate to Edwards using political funds to cover up his affair and out-of-wedlock child with Hunter. The 57-year-old was accused of paying Hunter and onetime aide Andrew Young to keep the affair and love child a secret. A source close to the once-promising politician told People Magazine, "John's optimistic nothing is going to come of it, but even if not, he's like, 'Let's get there, already". John's wife Elizabeth Edwards stood by her husband amidst the allegations, but the couple split in January 2010 and Elizabeth died in December following a battle with cancer. The criminal charges came after plea negotiations between lawyers for Edwards and the Justice Department broke down. The former Senator was reportedly, "not willing to go as far as prosecutors were insisting he should in accepting criminal culpability".
John Edwards' case could now move to a criminal trial. Before embarking on a political career, the one-time trial lawyer took on legendary status in North Carolina for his exceptional courtroom skills.