John Edwards Will Face Criminal Charges for Covering Up His Affair

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 11: Former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards and his children Emma Claire (L) and Jack leave the funeral services for Elizabeth Edwards at Edenton Street United Methodist Church on December 11, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Edwards died Tuesday after a six year battle with breast cancer at the age of 61. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images) Photo: Sara D. Davis/2010 Getty Images

A source close to John Edwards says that the Department of Justice plans to pursue criminal charges against the former presidential candidate. The DOJ, which has been investigating Edwards for two years, alleges that Edwards violated campaign laws by using more than $1 million in political donations trying to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. Investigators say the money came from two top donors, Fred Baron, Edwards finance chairman, and Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, heiress to the Mellon fortune. It's still unclear whether this will result in an indictment or a plea bargain. By pleading out, Edwards could avoid the cost and embarrassment of a trial, but might have to surrender his license to practice law. A plea agreement could also help save Edwards the incredible awkwardness of having portions of that memoir Hunter is shopping around from being read in the court transcript.

John Edwards: U.S. Green-Lights Prosecution for Alleged Campaign Law Violations Tied to Affair Cover-Up [ABC]
Edwards to Face Criminal Charges [NYT]