Edwards acknowledges he's under federal investigation

The feds are looking into donations to the former senator's campaign and PAC, and whether money may have been diverted to his mistress.

Published May 4, 2009 4:45PM (EDT)

Once again, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., has been forced to acknowledge that the National Enquirer broke a big story about him. Last year, he admitted to having had an affair with Rielle Hunter. This year, he acknowledged that federal authorities are investigating him to determine whether he illegally diverted political contributions in order to provide Hunter with money for personal reasons.

“I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly,” Edwards said in a statement given to the News & Observer, a paper in his home state.

“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.”

There are several things the feds are reportedly looking at, including one transaction that looks suspicious, if only circumstantially. In 2007, at a time when Edwards' political action committee reported having only about $7,000 in cash on hand, it paid Hunter's firm roughly $14,000. At the same time, the Associated Press reports, Edwards' presidential campaign made a $14,000 donation to the PAC.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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