Edwards Backer Paid Mistress to Move

Prominent donor said he acted on his own to banish Hunter
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 4:40 PM CDT
In this image made from video and provided by Chuck Olsen, Rielle Hunter films John Edwards after a rally in New Hampshire on Friday, Dec. 29, 2006.    (AP Photo/Chuck Olsen)
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(Newser) – A former Democratic Party official said yesterday that he paid John Edwards' ex-mistress to leave North Carolina, the Dallas Morning News reports. Fred Baron, a Dallas lawyer who led the party finance committee for 4 years, said he was trying to keep Rielle Hunter from tabloid reporters. “I made a decision on my own, without talking to Edwards or anybody, to try to help them move to a community to try to get away from those folks,” said Baron.

Edwards said during a television interview that he knew nothing about the payments. Baron, a frequent Democratic donor, said he used his own money, not campaign funds, to send Hunter packing—but did not say how much. “I feel sad because I know John Edwards so well,” he said. “John Edwards is an extraordinary human being who made an egregious error.”