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Prosecutors question conflict for Edwards lawyer

By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Federal prosecutors are questioning whether one of the lawyers defending former presidential contender John Edwards on campaign finance charges has a conflict of interest.

Washington lawyer Abbie Lowell previously represented two potential witnesses in the case, including the widow of former Edwards national campaign finance chairman Fred Barron.

If a judge determines there is a conflict, it could prompt Lowell’s exclusion from parts of the case.

Barron provided much of the nearly $1 million used in 2007 to help support Edwards’ then-pregnant mistress.

Lowell said in a statement Monday he had already discussed the issue with prosecutors and plans to respond in a court filing.

Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled to begin in January.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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