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Edwards: ‘I Did Not Break the Law’

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) pleaded not guilty Friday to federal criminal charges that he accepted large sums of money to obscure an extramarital affair during his 2008 White House bid.

Edwards, 57, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy, four counts of illegal campaign contributions and one count of false statements for using money from wealthy donors to hide his mistress and illegitimate child. The 19-page indictment, handed down Friday in the Middle District Court of North Carolina, was the culmination of a two-year federal investigation into alleged campaign finance violations.

“There’s no question that I’ve done wrong. I take full responsibility for having done wrong,” the two-time presidential candidate told reporters in front of the Winston-Salem, N.C., courthouse, with his daughter, Cate, by his side. “I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I’ve caused to others. But I did not break the law. And I never, ever thought that I was breaking the law.”