Watch CBSN Live

Judge in John Edwards case denies attempted dismissal

John Edwards facing stiff fines and jail time
Former Senator John Edwards AP Photo/Gerry Broome

(CBS/AP) GREENSBORO, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina has denied an attempt by John Edwards to get criminal charges against him dismissed. This clears the way for a trial to begin next year.

PICTURES: Rielle Hunter

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles ruled Thursday in Greensboro that the federal government's case against the former presidential candidate and U.S. senator can proceed.

His lawyers argue that the prosecution's case relies on completely novel legal arguments. But Eagles says it may be that the facts of the case itself are unique.

Edwards is accused of using about $1 million in undisclosed payments from campaign donors to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter during his 2008 White House bid.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled to begin in January.

Complete coverage of John Edwards on Crimesider