Edwards trial to begin in January

(CNN) - A federal judge in North Carolina rejected motions by former presidential candidate John Edwards to have his criminal indictment dismissed, according to Robin Zier, spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Thursday's decision sets the stage for a trial to begin in January.

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

Judge Catherine Eagles issued her order at a court hearing Thursday morning in Greensboro, which Edwards attended.

His attorneys claimed the investigation and prosecution were politically motivated, and the charges do not clearly establish any election law was violated.

If convicted on all counts, the North Carolina native could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.

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