Former presidential candidate John Edwards is still being investigated for using campaign funds to cover up his affair and love-child with Rielle Hunter.
A new book by Andrew Young, a former aide of Edwards’ who initially helped him hide the affair, says that Edwards masterminded the whole cover-up and checked in often from the campaign trail to assure Young that everything was going to work out OK.
Young provided ABC News with voicemails and other evidence to back up his story. The voicemails don’t suggest that Edwards used campaign funds to hide the affair, but they certainly suggest that he knew everything about the cover-up.
Because Edwards is not an imbecile, the voicemails further suggest that he had to have known that a great deal of money was being spent on the cover-up by rich benefactor Fred Baron and other big supporters, even if he didn’t know the exact details.
And that makes him, again, a liar–in the “confession” interview that he gave on national television in which he confessed to the affair but lied about the child.
Here’s what Edwards said in that interview:
“I’ve never paid a dime of money to any of the people that are involved. I’ve never asked anybody to pay a dime of money, never been told that any money’s been paid. Nothing has been done at my request,” he told ABC’s Bob Woodruff. “So if the allegation is that somehow I participated in the payment of money, that is a lie, an absolute lie.”
OK, maybe that’s phrased carefully enough–“I’ve never been told that any money’s been paid”–that it wasn’t a direct lie. But based on the evidence Young has provided, Edwards certainly had to know that money was being paid.
Even if Edwards knew all about the money Fred Baron and others were spending on his behalf, this wouldn’t make him guilty of misusing campaign funds. They might expose him to fraud charges, if his supporters thought the money they were giving him was being used for the campaign, but the folks who were defrauded would probably have to assert the fraud claims themselves.
Here’s ABC reporter Steve Daniels’ story on the Young voicemails. John Edwards had no comment.
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