The Department of Justice has green-lit the prosecution of former Sen. John Edwards over allegations that he used campaign funds to cover up his extramarital affair, ABC11 eyewitness News reported this morning.
Federal prosecutors will try to prove that the former senator and Democratic presidential candidate paid his mistress, videographer Rielle Hunter, with campaign hush money.
(PICTURES: Political sex scandals.)
The case focuses on money from two wealthy donors, who allegedly raised funds to keep Hunter quiet and to pay an aide named Andrew Young to falsely claim that he was the father of Edwards and Hunter's love child. The donors -- a 100-year-old woman named Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Fred Baron, Edwards’s former finance chairman -- are believed to have provided more than $1 million to keep the story under wraps. Baron, who died in 2008, claimed that Edwards knew nothing of this effort. Prosecutors are meeting with Mellon to record sworn testimony for a possible trial.