Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards is accused of using campaign money to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Story highlights

If convicted on all counts, John Edwards could face 30 years in prison

Edwards' upcoming criminal trial will look at whether campaign money went to Rielle Hunter

Hunter, Edwards' former mistress, was hired to make documentary videos for 2008 campaign

Edwards denies any wrongdoing

CNN  — 

Jury selection begins Thursday in a Greensboro, North Carolina, federal courtroom in the trial of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to the money dealings of his failed 2008 presidential campaign.

Rielle Hunter, Edwards’ former mistress, is expected to testify at the trial. A major issue in the approaching trial is whether money given to support Hunter, by the former candidate’s benefactors, should have been considered donations toward his presidential campaign. Edwards denies any wrongdoing, claiming the money was a gift.

Edwards is charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to donations to and payments from his failed 2008 campaign. He is accused of conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws. He denies any wrongdoing.

His attorneys have claimed the investigation and prosecution are politically motivated, and the charges do not clearly establish any violation of election law.

Edwards was Sen. John Kerry’s running mate on the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket.

Elizabeth and John Edwards separated that year, shortly after he admitted that he had fathered a daughter with Hunter, who was hired to make documentary videos for his 2008 campaign.

CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.