Federal subpoenas issued in John Edwards investigation

John Edwards pictured with Rielle Hunter to the left.
October 6, 2010 7:07:14 PM PDT
The ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned federal prosecutors in Raleigh have issued a new round of subpoenas in their investigation of former NC Senator John Edwards. A law enforcement source told the I-Team Wednesday that about 20 new subpoenas have been issued ordering people to testify about the arrangement to conceal the affair and the baby John Edwards had with his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

A federal grand jury in Raleigh has been investigating Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic candidate for vice president, for more than a year. They've been focused on the possible mis-use of campaign contributions.

According to a source, when that process wrapped-up, prosecutors in Raleigh sent the case to the Department of Justice in Washington for a review. The Justice Department then told prosecutors in Raleigh to interview more people and get more information about the people who donated money to help Edwards' former aide Andrew Young, his wife and Hunter live a life on the run.

Hunter worked for Edwards' political action committee in 2006, shooting behind-the-scenes video as the Democrat prepared to launch his second White House campaign. The committee paid her video production firm $100,000 that year and then another $14,000 later on in what a senior campaign official described as a payment for leftover footage.

Young has said he was tasked with taking care of Hunter both during the campaign and after. He described receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from Edwards supporter Bunny Mellon, the wealthy widow of banking heir Paul Mellon, and from Edwards campaign finance leader Fred Baron, who died last year.

Sources tell ABC11 that the people who've been subpoenaed have been ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in Raleigh to testify about their knowledge of the financial dealings related to Edwards' affair and the cover-up.

Young said Wednesday he has not received another subpoena.

Edwards has largely been in seclusion since admitting two years ago that he had an affair with Hunter. He publicly admitted for the first time earlier this year he fathered her child. John and Elizabeth Edwards have separated after more than 30 years of marriage.

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