Via The Raleigh N&O:
John Edwards marched toward the White House in 2006 seeking an arsenal of millions collected a little at a time.
He also gathered more ammunition, about $11 million, collected in larger chunks by nonprofit groups conceived and operated to further his aspirations. He also courted a girlfriend.
Federal investigators are trying to connect those dots, sifting through Edwards’ financial records to probe whether he used any donations solicited for his campaign to keep quiet his affair with Rielle Hunter.
Edwards, a Democrat and former U.S. senator, on Thursday acknowledged the investigation to The News & Observer.
“I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly,” Edwards said in a statement. “However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help them get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely matter. We appreciate the diligence and professionalism of those involved and look forward to a conclusion.”
Edwards declined to discuss the matter.
A review of Edwards’ campaign money will turn up a cluster of nonprofits, some not subject to the same rules of transparency as official campaign organizations. Records of one that does disclose donors, the Alliance for a New America, show that Edwards’ 2008 campaign got a huge boost from a single source: $3.48 million from a holding company for Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, a 98-year-old matriarch of the late industrialist Andrew Mellon’s family.
The riches that bankrolled Edwards’ bid for president will be tough to sort, campaign finance experts say.
“This may be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of Open Secrets, a campaign watchdog group. “John Edwards is a leader in misleading the public.”
Records show that Hunter was paid by a political action committee aligned with Edwards. She received $114,000 to film Edwards as he hopscotched the nation to rally crowds in the fight against poverty. She followed him to Uganda, where he met with starving children orphaned by attacks by rebel forces. Her “webisodes” live still on the Internet.
U.S. Attorney George Holding, a Republican, is conducting the investigation, and the article insinuates that going after prominent Democrats is his speciality.
Even if nothing comes out of this, the record on Edwards already speaks for itself: He’s guilty – guilty of being a world class phony who has one set of standards for everyone else, and another set for himself.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.