Federal prosecutors haven't gotten the go-ahead from the Justice Department to charge Edwards, but they're examining whether he violated election laws when he tried to cover up his affair with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter. Hunter and Edwards eventually had a child together -- who then-aide Andrew Young originally claimed to have fathered -- while Edwards was married.
Sources close to the investigation say Justice Department attorneys are now conducting a final review of evidence, and an indictment could come within days or weeks. In what could be an ominous development for Edwards, prosecutors already are making arrangements to record the sworn testimony of a key witness for possible use in a future trial, said the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"It would be surprising now if he wasn't indicted," former federal prosecutor and George Washington University law professor Stephen Saltzburg told NBC. "If John Edwards was aware that money was being paid to hide his mistress... and it was done to help his campaign, then he's in trouble."