Criminal Charges Still Stand Against Edwards | Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Criminal Charges Still Stand Against Edwards

(CN) - A federal judge refused to dismiss the criminal case against former Sen. John Edwards, rejecting a slew of motions at a hearing on Thursday.

The court publicized its decision accompanying the bench order with a brief docket entry related to a hearing Wednesday that was continued Thursday morning. Because U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles rejected the motions without prejudice, Edwards can raise the objections again.

Edwards had said the charges against him should be dismissed for lack of evidence, grand jury issues and other reasons. Eagles also denied a sealed motion to compel discovery. Edwards filed another motion on that issue Thursday.

The former congressman has pleaded not guilty to a June indictment alleging that he took illegal presidential campaign contributions while carrying on his much-publicized affair.

Between 2007 and 2008, while Edwards was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, he accepted $900,000 in illegal campaign contributions as part of an effort to conceal his ongoing affair with Rielle Hunter, according to the indictment.

Edwards allegedly used these funds to cover living, medical and travel expenses for Hunter, a former campaign aide who ultimately revealed that Edwards had fathered her daughter. Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, died of breast cancer in December 2010.

Johnny Reid Edwards was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the federal campaign finance laws and to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission; four counts of accepting and receiving illegal campaign contributions from two donors in 2007 and 2008; and one count of concealing those illegal donations from the FEC.

Under the Federal Election Act in 2008, Edwards faced a $2,300 cap on any donation from any one person and should have disclosed any contribution of more than $200.

The 58-year-old two-time presidential hopeful faces six counts that each carry maximum five-year prison sentences and $250,000 fines. He faces trial in January.

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