If John Edwards hadn’t already been ruined by his affair with Rielle Hunter, this is it: today he was indicted by a federal grand jury for siphoning funds from his campaign to help keep Hunter, who was pregnant with his baby, a secret.There are six counts against him, including conspiracy, making false statements, and four counts of illegal campaign contributions. Unless Edwards takes a settlement, prosecutors should have no trouble making their case.
Edwards started his affair with Hunter (aka Lisa Druck) in 2006, pretended to break it off, and then she became pregnant. The story broke first in the National Enquirer, was brushed aside, and then returned in the fall of 2007 as Hunter grew with child. In January 2008, when it was really too late, Edwards–who’d known for months that he would have to pull out of the 2008 presidential campaign– finally acquiesced. The baby, Frances Quinn, was born at the end of February.
But it turned out that two of his majors donors were solicited for large amounts of money to help him keep this all quiet–the late Fred Baron and the nearly 100 year old socialist Bunny Mellon. The money was used to keep Edwards aide Andrew Young able to hide Hunter from the public. Young also lied about being the baby’s father. When the money ran out, Young and Hunter were cut loose. Young wrote a bestselling book telling the whole story. Hunter, who lived with her baby daughter for months with her friend Mimi Hockman, eventually cut a deal with Edwards and moved into a home near his in South Carolina. And now, with Edwards’ estranged wife, Elizabeth, dead from cancer, the former Senator has been indicted. Instant karma indeed.