John Edwards replaces legal team in campaign violations case

NEW YORK Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:15pm EDT

Former Democratic presidential hopeful and former Senator John Edwards departs the U.S. District Court with his daughter Cate (L-rear) after pleading not guilty to six federal charges in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Davis Turner

Former Democratic presidential hopeful and former Senator John Edwards departs the U.S. District Court with his daughter Cate (L-rear) after pleading not guilty to six federal charges in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, June 3, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Davis Turner

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former presidential candidate John Edwards has replaced the legal team defending him against criminal charges of campaign fund violations.

Edwards has hired Chadbourne & Parke partner Abbe Lowell, according to a document filed with the court on Friday. Lowell is a white-collar defense attorney.

Edwards was indicted on June 3 for allegedly using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign funds to help cover up an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, a campaign worker, while he was running for president in 2008.

Hunter had a child by Edwards as a result of the affair.

Edwards has denied that the money obtained was designated as campaign contributions. His new lawyer, Lowell, was the chief investigative counsel for Republicans in the House of Representatives for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Off the case are Gregory Craig and Cliff Sloan, attorneys with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

The reason for the switch could not immediately be confirmed. NPR reported that Edwards could not afford the Skadden partners.

Craig was White House Counsel to President Barack Obama while Sloan was the publisher of Slate magazine and served as counsel to President Bill Clinton.

(Reporting by Leigh Jones; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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