WRAL Investigates

Sources: Edwards indictment could come soon

Posted February 15, 2011

— Signs point to an indictment of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, and it could happen in the next month or so, sources tell WRAL News.

The U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C., and a federal grand jury in Raleigh are still reviewing the case, which appears to have zeroed in on money from a 100-year-old campaign supporter and attempts to hide Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer.

Former Edwards aide Andrew Young wrote in his tell-all book, "The Politician," that heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon gave Edwards a total of $700,000 as a gift. The so-called "Bunny money" helped fund the cover-up of Edwards' affair with video producer Rielle Hunter, who was pregnant with the former U.S. senator's child.

Political observers said the money was a campaign contribution and should have been noted in Edwards' campaign finance reports.

"The way federal election law is written is anything to support the activity of a campaign (is a campaign contribution)," Peace College political science professor David McLennan said. "They look at the intent of the money."

Edwards released a statement through his attorney in 2009 that he was confident no funds from his campaign were used improperly.

Young told WRAL News in an interview a year ago that Mellon was in the dark about how her money was being used.

He said Edwards' campaign finance chairman, wealthy Texas lawyer Fred Baron, financed flights and paid rent on a California home for Hunter and Young's family during the period when Young pretended to be the father of Hunter's baby.

"I heard one of the jets used for Rielle to fly around the country was $55,000 to $60,000," Young said. "We were living in a house that I co-signed with Fred that was $20,000 a month."

WRAL Investigates Sources: Edwards indictment could come soon

Young also told WRAL News that Baron paid him $325,000 to finish his own home back in Chapel Hill so it could be sold.

Baron died from cancer in 2008, but his widow appeared before the federal grand jury in Raleigh last month. Investigators have interviewed Mellon twice at her estate in Virginia, and some of her family members testified before the grand jury in December.

Edwards flew to Mellon's estate on her private jet in December 2009 while the case was under investigation, but he has never said what was discussed.

McLennan said federal campaign law needs to address the issues dredged up by the 2-year-old investigation.

"When it comes to hiding things from the public, we need that kind of discussion," he said.


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  • TravelinMan Feb 16, 2011

    Oh Johnny Boy,you will soon experience the real meaning of the two America's you told us about when you were running with John "Herman Munster" Kerry. In your new America there won't be any 15,000 square foot homes with gymnasiums attached, in fact 8X10 with no view will probably be your reality. If you are good and ask nicely your new roomie might let you have the top bunk.

  • jbarron4950 Feb 16, 2011

    To me,the most baffling part of the John Edwards saga is this: From the first time I saw him, he had this fake smile, and would close his eyes when he told a lie. How could anyone, and I mean anyone, ever support this guy, much less vote for him? I'll make it easy for you guys and gals by giving you the answer. His good looks (gals and probably some of the guys), and his speaking ability. Truth is, that is an indictment on some very educated (notice I didn't say smart)people who were sucked into his rhetoric. Yea, the same folks who let Clinton and now Obama do the same. Wise up, people....freddie cadetti 72

    You are apparently not up on current affairs. You loosely throw out the names of Cinton and Obama, but just conveniently skip over the name and eight years of BUSH. While Clinton and Edwards may have what some consider moral issues, they didn't send 5,000 of America's finest off to die in some foreign land. Clinton and Edwards didn't kill anybody and whatever they did should be pe

  • jbarron4950 Feb 16, 2011

    Just think, he was the Democratic choice for Vice President and almost won. A former Democratic Senator. The Democrats standards are pretty low, especially when you consider former Governor Easley and all his mess and conviction, Jim Black and his mess, Meg Scott Phipps and her mess and so on and so on. John deserves whatever comes his way. You knew he had a character flaw with the $700.00 hair cuts, the flying a hair stylist in from California for a haircut, and all the failure to even show up for important votes while a Senator. Some day Democrats will get smarter and vote for the person, not the party......jdupree

    Look at all of the Republicans on the national level who have been involved in sex scandals. Atleast Democrats deal with grown women and not little boys. John Edward's affair was a personal matter and had nothing to do with politics.

  • jbarron4950 Feb 16, 2011

    guess I should have listed to my momma when she said I should quite the crank.....trianglematt

    Is this English? If so, then I need to go back to school.

  • cariannestanley Feb 16, 2011

    I hope they nail him to the wall for anything they can. He has done some abominable things to his family, his constituents and heaven knows who else. He needs to suffer a while for his crimes.

  • wildcat Feb 16, 2011


  • wildcat Feb 16, 2011

    ....You didn't hear any complaints from Elizabeth until she found out she wasn't going to be the first lady....rest her soul

    I will back you up on that. That is the complete truth. May she rest in peace.

  • wildcat Feb 16, 2011

    I, for one will be greatful when its all over with. Tired of hearing about John Edwards illmorals issues.

  • gt_football Feb 16, 2011

    Sources: Edwards indictment could come soon, NOT SOON ENOUGH!!!

  • trianglematt Feb 16, 2011

    He is for the people. He cares about them. What I want to know is why are people picking on him. He has done so much good for the world. Did I write that? I guess I should have listed to my momma when she said I should quite the crank.