The criminal charges against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards are the latest is a series of prosecutions or investigations by the Justice Department involving prominent politicians.
Edwards, 57, was charged with six counts of conspiracy, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements for using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign funds to help cover up an extramarital affair during his White House bid in 2008.
An attorney for the former senator from North Carolina said Edwards will plead not guilty and mount a vigorous defense.
Following are some other recent cases:
* The Justice Department has been looking at former Senator John Ensign, a Republican, over payments his parents made to a former staffer and his wife after the lawmaker had an extramarital affair with the wife.
The review followed a Senate ethics committee report that found substantial credible evidence Ensign violated federal law in a sex-and-lobbying scandal. Last month's report referred the case to the department for possible criminal prosecution.
Ensign, a once-rising Republican star who was first elected to the Senate from Nevada in 2000, resigned last month after earlier saying he would not seek re-election. His attorney has said Ensign complied with the law.
* Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is on trial in Chicago for a second time on corruption charges, including allegations he sought to sell President Barack Obama's old Senate seat for a Cabinet post for himself.
The two-term Democratic governor has been testifying in his own defense at the trial. His first trial ended last year with the jury unable to reach a verdict on the most serious charges, though it found him guilty of one count of lying to federal authorities.
Blagojevich, who in 2002 was elected the state's first Democratic governor in 30 years, was arrested in December 2008, and was removed from office the following year by the legislature. He has been writing a memoir, doing a radio show and appeared on the reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice."
* Former Democratic Representative William Jefferson of Louisiana, who hid $90,000 in cash in his freezer, is appealing his conviction for bribery, racketeering and money laundering.
Jefferson, who had been a member of Congress since 1991 until losing re-election in 2008, was accused of soliciting millions of dollars in bribes from companies while using his congressional office to broker business deals in Africa.
The case became particularly well-known because FBI agents said they found $90,000 in cash wrapped in foil and hidden inside various frozen food containers in his freezer.
Jefferson, who faces a 13-year prison sentence, has an appeal pending before an appeals court based in Virginia.
* A judge in 2009 threw out a corruption verdict against former Republican Senator Ted Stevens because of misconduct by Justice Department prosecutors, including the withholding of exculpatory evidence from defense lawyers.
Stevens, who had been the Senate's longest-serving Republican, lost his Senate seat in the November 2008 elections just days after a jury returned a guilty verdict on charges he failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts.
Stevens, 86, died in August last year in a small plane crash in his home state of Alaska.