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John Edwards Adds Former Obama Lawyer Craig To Defense Team

Greg Craig.
Kristen Hines
Greg Craig.

Former North Carolina Senator and Democratic presidential contender John Edwards has brought in a new legal heavyweight to stand in his corner.

Edwards has enlisted former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig to help convince federal prosecutors not to bring criminal charges against him in a long-running investigation into his campaign finances.

Craig tells NPR that a criminal indictment of Edwards for allegedly funneling donors' money to the mother of his child would be unprecedented.

"We have consistently said we don't think he violated any law," Craig said. He's joined Wade Smith and Jim Cooney, two North Carolina- based defense lawyers for Edwards, on the case.

Craig says that given the timing of his departure from the White House, he's still covered under "cooling off" period rules that prevent him from advocating to Justice Department officials at the Assistant Attorney General level, or higher.

Multiple news accounts in recent weeks have reported that prosecutors are leaning towards criminal charges for Edwards and that a grand jury is actively considering testimony from witnesses in the case.

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Carrie Johnson
Carrie Johnson is NPR's National Justice Correspondent.