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Friend of John Edwards makes courthouse appearance

By MIKE BAKER

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A friend and supporter of John Edwards has made an appearance at a federal courthouse where a grand jury is investigating the two-time presidential candidate's finances.

Chapel Hill businessman Michael Cucchiara (KOO'-chee-ar-ah) and an attorney walking with him declined to comment while entering and exiting the courthouse Thursday afternoon. He is among several friends, aides and supporters of Edwards who have come to the federal building in recent months.

Cucchiara was a financial donor to Edwards' 2004 and 2008 campaigns. In 2006, Cucchiara and his wife gave a $2 million gift to a poverty center that Edwards had developed at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina Center at Chapel Hill.