Edwards finance chair paid Hunter expenses

Fred Baron told a local paper Friday that, without Edwards' knowledge, he paid for Rielle Hunter to move out of North Carolina.

Published August 9, 2008 12:00AM (EDT)

Fred Baron, the former finance chairman of John Edwards' presidential campaign, has now admitted that he paid for Rielle Hunter to move from her home in North Carolina. The move apparently also included former Edwards aide Andrew Young, who has claimed to be the father of Hunter's daughter. But, Baron said, he gave them this money without Edwards' knowledge.

"The money was purely and simply to get them out of North Carolina and to get them into a stable place," Baron told the Dallas Morning News. "They were unable to afford a second home. It was to give them the ability to live somewhere where they wouldn't be harassed."

Baron has also released a statement in which he says, "I decided independently to help two friends and former colleagues rebuild their lives when harassment by supermarket tabloids made it impossible for them to conduct a normal life." He adds, "John Edwards was not aware that assistance was provided to anyone involved in this matter. I did it of my own voilition (sic) and without the knowledge, instruction, or suggestion of John Edwards or anyone else. The assistance was offered and accepted without condition."

Separately, Edwards has cleared up one of the big questions remaining from his admission that he had an affair with Rielle Hunter: He has "no plans" to attend the Democratic convention this year. That comes from an interview Edwards gave to CBS News' Bob Schieffer.

Also, in his report on his interview with Edwards, Schieffer said, "When I asked him why he had denied the story over and over he said because so many of the stories had so much false information. He said what I should have done is confirm the part that was true and then live with it."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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