New probe into another failed 2008 presidential bid  — of New Mexico governor BILL RICHARDSON has a decidedly JOHN EDWARDS flavor du jour.  He allegedly ponied up campaign funds to silence a woman’s affair claims.

The Wall Street Journal reported that allegations made by a former member of Richardson's inner circle said Richardson's political allies gave $250,000 to silence a woman who had considered suing the governor in 2007.

She had threatened to  exposing an alleged extramarital affair, according to sources familiar with the federal probe.

The woman was a state employee at the time that she may have been romantically involved with Richardson circa 2004.

Prosecutors were reputedly seeking to prove that the alleged payment to the woman was a de facto campaign contribution to Richardson.

The Albuquerque Journal first broke the story that Richardson's supporters had allegedly paid out to settle a threatened lawsuit.

As in the case of “The United States of America vs Johnny Reid Edwards”  the alleged payment may have violated federal campaign-finance law if it was not reported and did not comply with limits on political donations.

As The ENQUIRER reported in a series of exhaustive reports, Edwards is charged with using presidential campaign funds to buy a conspiracy of silence regarding his mistress Rielle Hunter and love child during his failed 2008 Presidential bid.

Edwards’ trial is slated to begin January 2012.