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) -- The Justice Department authorized federal prosecutors to bring criminal charges against John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, for possible campaign violations,

ABC News


The charge is in connection with a possible campaign finance violation in which Edward's former campaign aide, Andrew Young, told a federal grand jury that the senator used campaign funds to cover up an affair that Edwards had.

John Edwards faces possible indictment after the U.S. Department of Justice authorized prosecutors to move forward, reports say.

Edwards is aware of the possible indictment, and his lawyers hope to get a better offer from the government, suggesting a plea bargain, sources told



Young claimed that Edwards received a gift of $700,000 from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, which was diverted to pay rent for Rielle Hunter, a videographer with whom Edwards was having an affair. Mellon's attorneys also have denied that she had any knowledge. Hunter and Edwards eventually had a child together.

Young told


, a TV station in Raleigh, N.C., in 2010 that he pretended to be the child's father and that Mellon was unaware Edwards used her contribution to provide living expenses for Young, Hunter and the new child.


Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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