Raleigh, N.C. — Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is looking to get back into the business that made his fortune by opening a new law firm, a source told WRAL News Wednesday morning.
Edwards, who retained his license to practice law in North Carolina through his presidential run and subsequent personal and legal scandals, has been considering locations and potential partners.
Edwards has been lying low at his Chapel Hill home since federal prosecutors ended their investigation into whether he funneled campaign finances to pay for his mistress.
He survived a month-long trial in spring 2012 on six felony campaign finance charges when a jury acquitted him on one charge, but couldn't reach a verdict on the other five, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. Edwards' defense team argued that money used to cover up his affair with campaign staffer Rielle Hunter, her resulting pregnancy and birth of their daughter came not from campaign donations but from gifts from Edwards' wealthy friends.
Edwards, a Robbins native, was a highly successful trial lawyer, winning millions of dollars for plaintiffs before he entered politics. He headed a Raleigh law firm with a partner in the 1990s.
Edwards entered politics in 1998, representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. He served just one term in Congress before throwing his hat in the ring for president. In 2004, after ending his own presidential run, he accepted the vice presidential bid alongside Democratic candidate John Kerry.
Edwards dropped out of the 2008 presidential campaign, citing the health of his wife, Elizabeth, who died in 2011 of breast cancer. After he stepped out of the political spotlight, the affair with Hunter and the birth of their child came to light.
According to a CNN report, Edwards was scheduled to speak at a legal retreat in Orlando Wednesday.