Edwards acknowledges he's under investigation

RALEIGH Federal authorities are trying to figure out if he used campaign money to keep his mistress quiet.

The country remembers seeing Edwards flirting with Rielle Hunter in clips from the documentary she was hired to shoot about his campaign.

Federal investigators are trying to figure out if their affair started before or after she was hired, if money from his campaign or political groups tied to him was used to pay her then, and later after she gave birth to a baby Edwards claims his married campaign manager fathered.

In a statement Edwards says, "I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly."

Long time Democratic Campaign Consultant Joe Sinsheimer of Raleigh says Edwards chose his words carefully. In an exclusive interview with ABC News last summer John Edwards said he lied repeatedly about the affair because he didn't think he'd get caught.

Sinsheimer says Edwards needs to take a grilling from reporters if he ever wants to save his reputation.

"He needs to own up to the rest of the story," Sinsheimer said. "Go back on ABC News … answer questions."

This week, Elizabeth Edwards is beginning a national book tour.

While originally standing by her husband she now says he lied to her, the affair made her sick and calls Hunter "pathetic."

As for the child at the center of this controversy, Edwards has offered to take a paternity test. Hunter has refused.

As for Edwards possibly facing any prison time if he's eventually charged and convicted, Sinsheimer says the main issue will be whether any money from non-profit's tied to Edwards was spent for personal use.

He also points out a few state lawmakers have been locked up for that under the current U.S. attorney in Raleigh.

Copyright © 2023 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.