State News

Former Edwards aides appear at Raleigh federal courthouse

Posted December 2, 2010 12:40 p.m. EST
Updated December 2, 2010 6:14 p.m. EST

— Two former aides for John Edwards appeared Thursday at a federal courthouse where a grand jury has been investigating the two-time Democratic presidential candidate.

Jonathan Prince, who was the deputy campaign manager for Edwards' 2004 campaign, spent four hours inside the courthouse on Thursday morning. Jennifer Palmieri, the spokeswoman for the 2004 campaign, was inside for most of the afternoon.

Neither commented when leaving.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, but the panel is believed to be looking into Edwards' campaign finances to determine whether any funds were used improperly, including whether money was used to hide an affair Edwards had with staffer Rielle Hunter.

Hunter gave birth to a girl in February 2008 that Edwards has admitted is his daughter.

Hunter and her daughter appeared at the federal courthouse in August 2009. Other former campaign aides also have apparently testified before the grand jury.

WRAL News has learned that more people connected with the campaign might testify Friday. They include family members of heiress Bunny Mellon, who was a major donor to Edwards' campaigns.

Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, has denied wrongdoing. His attorney said two months ago that new subpoenas had been issued in the probe.

Palmieri also was a confidant of Edwards' estranged wife, Elizabeth Edwards. She now works at the Center for American Progress think tank, where Elizabeth Edwards is a senior fellow.