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Edwards denied bid to dismiss campaign case

October 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge denied a bid by John Edwards to have the criminal case against him thrown out, paving the way for a trial to begin in January.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said the five motions to dismiss are being denied without prejudice, meaning Edwards' lawyers can use them at a later date.

The former U.S. senator is charged with using campaign funds to cover up an affair he had during his unsuccessful bid for the White House and then submitting false campaign finance reports to cover his tracks. He has pleaded not guilty.

Edwards was in the Greensboro courtroom Thursday and displayed no visible reaction to the decision.

The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee had an affair with his campaign videographer Rielle Hunter and eventually fathered a child.

Prosecutors allege Edwards used money from donors beyond legal campaign limits to keep the affair secret.

Much of the undisclosed money was funneled to Andrew Young, a close aide to Edwards who left the campaign and falsely claimed paternity of the senator's illegitimate child. Young and his wife invited the pregnant Hunter to live in their home and later traveled with her as the media sought to expose the candidate's affair.

Edwards' lawyers claim that if the prosecution's case succeeds, it could mean that any money a candidate spends while running for office could be classified as a campaign expense, which they say would twist federal law completely out of shape.

The trial is scheduled to begin in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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