ABC News is reporting that a few weeks before John Edwards was charged in a six-count felony indictment for the misuse of campaign funds, the former Democratic presidential candidate met with banking heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and requested money from her. An unnamed source with knowledge of the situation tells ABC News that
Edwards’ request was for millions, but he or she would not
discuss why Edwards was seeking the money.
Mellon is currently at the center of the criminal case against Edwards, as she allegedly provided more than $700,000 in 2008 to help hide Edwards’ mistress Rielle Hunter and subsequent love child Quinn.
William Taylor, Mellon’s attorney, was present at the May 26 lunch meeting and says it was a personal, social visit. He also tells the AP there “was no discussion of anything related to [Edwards’] situation.”
Over the years Mellon has been a strong supporter of Edwards’ campaigns for president, giving more than $4 million total to various groups and organizations connected to the campaign. One of her attorney’s, Alex Forger, has alleged that Mellon did not know how her money was being used, in reference to the concealment of Rielle Hunter and the child.
ABC News has not determined if the latest meeting between Mellon and Edwards did, in fact, result in her giving him more money, but if a monetary gift were made, it would not be illegal, it just wouldn’t look very good since she may be called to testify against him. And one of Edwards’ conditions of his release from custody was that he have no further contact with Rachel Mellon. The meeting in question happened prior to the indictment, so Edwards is perfectly legal there.