Federal prosecutors said they will not continue to pursue a case against former Sen. John Edwards after a jury was unable to produce a a verdict two weeks ago.

Edwards faced six felony counts over whether he illegally used contributions to cover up an affair while running for president in 2008. A jury in North Carolina acquitted Edwards on one count of accepting campaign contributions and deadlocked on the other five, leading the judge to declare a mistrial.

We knew that this case -- like all campaign finance cases -- would be challenging, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said in a statement. But it is our duty to bring hard cases when we believe that the facts and the law support charging a candidate for high office with a crime.  

Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Edwards' career collapsed amid allegations that he was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife. Prosecutors charged that he oversaw an effort to use some $1 million from wealthy donors to keep his mistress, and mother of his child, quiet.