Divorce attorneys in Pasadena knew that the John Edwards affair scandal and divorce could potentially have criminal repercussions. After all, it was highly rumored at the time that the former vice-presidential candidate was using money from his political backers to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. Now the Justice Department is expected to bring criminal charges against Edwards after a 2-year investigation into whether he used political funds to help make his affair with Hunter "disappear."
Although the Edwards scandal broke back in 2008, one can't help but notice the parallels between the current marital breakdown of Arnold and Maria Shriver. Both men were high-powered politicians. Both had affairs. Both fathered children with their mistresses. And both could potentially face jail time. An indictment for John Edwards could come in a matter of days - unless he reaches an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a negotiated charge.
Federal authorities have been probing into allegations that money from wealthy supporters went to keep Rielle Hunter and her child in hiding while Edwards was on the campaign trail in 2007 and 2008. Andrew Young, Edwards' former campaign aide, said two wealthy supporters helped supply money and the private jet that Young used to hide Hunter from the press. Young has also said that the 100-year-old widow of banking tycoon Paul Mellon gave Edwards and Hunter hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks, some of which were hidden in boxes of chocolate. Young, Hunter and other former aides of Edwards have been interviewed or called to testify before a federal grand jury. Edwards, a former trial lawyer, could lose his law license if he enters a guilty plea.
Edwards' attorney Gregory Craig says there is no evidence that campaign funds were misused.
"John Edwards has done wrong in his life - and he knows it better than anyone - but he did not break the law," he said in a statement.
Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, died of cancer in December 2010.