Edwards Admits Feds Probing Hush Cash
Candidate may have paid off mistress with campaign donations
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2009 3:15 PM CDT
In this Dec. 27, 2006 photo provided by the National Enquirer, former US Sen. John Edwards is shown with videographer Rielle Hunter in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, La.   (AP Photo/The National Enquirer)
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(Newser) – John Edwards is being investigated by feds looking to see if he illegally used 2008 campaign funds to hush up mistress Rielle Hunter, the former candidate told the Charlotte Observer, confirming an earlier report in the Edwards-happy National Enquirer. Hunter, hired to film the candidate, was paid $114,000 by an Edwards-affiliated political action committee. “We appreciate the diligence and professionalism of those involved and look forward to a conclusion,” Edwards said in a statement.

Candidates cannot legally use donations for personal expenses that would not have arisen off the campaign trail. But loopholes allow organizations to unofficially fund pre-campaign activities, and one cash-flush group paid for Edwards’ travels, which Hunter filmed. “John Edwards is a leader in misleading the public,” one watchdog says. And his donors are angry: “If they were stealing money to cover up John's personal failings, it is profoundly disappointing,” one complains.