Desperate to stay out of jail, bad boy politi­cian JOHN EDWARDS begged his mistress and mother of his love child Rielle Hunter to cover up for him, but she flatly refused, sources say.

In a bombshell exclusive hitting newsstands, The ENQUIRER reports a stunning new development in the ongoing Edwards saga, has resulted in Rielle dumping him in his darkest hour.

In a web exclusive preview, we can report that a close source said, “Rielle snapped at him, ‘I can’t help you! My only concern is raising our daughter.’

“John felt as if she’d stabbed him in the back.”

That behind-the-scenes dra­ma unfolded as the U.S. Justice Department prepared to indict the former presidential candi­date on criminal charges that he used campaign money to cover up his extramarital affair, insid­ers say.

“When John found out that he was close to being indicted, he begged Rielle to cover for him,” the close source divulged. "He cried to her, ‘I don’t want to go to jail!’

“But she didn’t care. She went ahead and dumped him!”

For the FULL STORY with all the details you won’t find anywhere else – it’s ONLY in the new NATIONAL ENQUIRER – on sale now!