RALEIGH, North Carolina – The Justice Department plans to bring criminal charges against John Edwards after a two-year investigation into whether the former presidential candidate illegally used money from some of his political backers to cover up his extramarital affair, a person familiar with the case said Wednesday.

An indictment could come within days unless the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee reaches an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a negotiated charge, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Federal authorities have been investigating the former North Carolina senator’s campaign finances, focusing heavily on money from wealthy supporters that allegedly went to keep mistress Rielle Hunter and her out-of-wedlock baby in hiding in 2007-08 to protect Edwards’ White House campaign from a career-ending scandal.