John Edwards indicted by federal court in N.C.

A federal grand jury today returned a six-count indictment against former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly participating in a scheme to violate federal campaign finance laws.

The indictment, returned in the Middle District of North Carolina, charges Johnny Reid Edwards, 58, of Chapel Hill, N.C., with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal campaign finance laws and to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC); four counts of accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions from two donors in 2007 and 2008; and one count of concealing those illegal donations from the FEC.

“Mr. Edwards is alleged to have accepted more than $900,000 in an effort to conceal from the public facts that he believed would harm his candidacy,” Assistant Attorney General Breuer said in a news release. “As this indictment shows, we will not permit candidates for high office to abuse their special ability to access the coffers of their political supporters to circumvent our election laws.

“Our campaign finance system is designed to preserve the integrity of democratic elections—for the presidency and all other elected offices—and we will vigorously pursue abuses of the kind alleged today,” Breuer added.

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