Former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards was indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina this morning on charges of accepting illegal campaign donations, conspiring to violate campaign finance laws, and filing false campaign disclosures with the Federal Election Commission—all part of an attempt to buy his mistress and baby mama Rielle Hunter's silence with other people's money.
The indictment, which can be read here [pdf], mostly lays out what is already known: Edwards ordered his chief aide Andrew Young to keep Hunter hidden and quiet with the help of money from campaign donors Fred Baron and Bunny Melon. All told, they contributed $900,000, the indictment says, to her living and travel expenses in 2007 and 2008—including a $29,000 chartered flight from Florida to Aspen, Colo., and a $25,000, four-night stay at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara, Calif.
If convicted, Edwards faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
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