John Edwards Investigation Continues In North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The widow of the finance chairman of John Edwards' two presidential bids appeared Wednesday before a federal grand jury that has been looking into the former North Carolina senator's campaign spending.

Lisa Blue spent several hours at a federal courthouse in Raleigh. She did not respond to requests for comment, though her attorney told courthouse officials that she was a grand jury witness.

Blue was married to Fred Baron, a wealthy Dallas-based trial attorney who served as a top fundraiser for Edwards and managed the campaign finances of Edwards' bids for the White House in 2008 and 2004. Baron died in 2008 following complications from cancer.

Earlier that year, Baron acknowledged sending money to Edwards' mistress and former campaign aide Andrew Young so that they could resettle in California. Young had claimed to be the father of Rielle Hunter's child, though Edwards has since admitted that the child is his. Baron, who made a fortune representing thousands in asbestos exposure litigation, said he did so to help friends and colleagues rebuild their lives and that Edwards was not involved in the transactions.

Young had a different account in his book, "The Politician." He said that Edwards viewed Baron's financial support as a "short-term solution" and that he would get a long-term solution from wealthy supporter Bunny Mellon. An attorney for Mellon has said that several of her relatives have received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury.

Young also discussed Blue's involvement, saying that she was tasked with comforting Hunter by phone. He also said Blue and Baron together worked to convince Young to continue caring for Hunter even when the aide was growing restless with the job.

Young has said he helped take care of Hunter near the end of the 2008 presidential campaign and that he received financial support from Baron and Mellon.

Blue's appearance at the grand jury follows a long line of people who have spent time at the federal courthouse, including Hunter, Young and Edwards' campaign advisers.

Edwards has acknowledged a probe into his finances and has said he is confident no campaign funds were used improperly.