Former Gov. McDonnell and first lady indicted on 14 counts in gifts scandal

posted at 7:21 pm on January 21, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

This is not a proud day for Virginia’s relatively corruption-light history. Despite his solid record at the actual job of governing, former Gov. McDonnell has pretty much assured that the thing that will be remembered most about him is that he was the first governor of the Old Dominion to be brought up on criminal charges, via the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted today by a federal grand jury on 14 counts stemming from the first couple’s acceptance and solicitation of thousands in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman during McDonnell’s term.

The indictment, spelled out in an extensive document filed by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District, paints a detailed portrait of how the governor and his wife accepted more than $135,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans from then-Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr.,  in addition to golf outings and other things of value, in exchange for the first couple’s assistance in promoting his struggling Henrico-based company’s dietary supplement, Anatabloc. …

According to the indictment, from April 2011 through March, 2013, the McDonnells “participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation and J.W.,” an apparent reference to Williams, then Star’s CEO.

If the McDonnells are convicted on all counts and given the maximum sentences, they could be looking at more than $1 million in fines and potential prison time. The list of the alleged offending items in the indictment reads like what I’d imagine a caricature of political gifts looks like, but unfortunately… it isn’t.

 photo Screenshot2014-01-21at53649PM_zpsbe449145.png

In their statement this afternoon, the former governor maintained that the DOJ is overreaching on this one, via WaPo:

A lawyer for McDonnell released a statement from the former governor denying his actions were illegal and promising to fight the charges in court.

“My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific,” he said.

“I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship.”

He promised to “use every available resource and advocate” to “fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”

Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but regardless, if McDonnell had any future political ambitions — either in the realm of a return to Virginia’s governorship or even 2016 contention — well… Oof.


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You can’t trust any politician on either side.

myiq2xu on January 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

“Hey, we needed the money” the wife said today.

HA rubes, let’s go rob banks….’cause money c/b needed.

On the other hand Holder found a biiiig squirrel.

Another eliminated couple against Hillary.

The Rs are always stupid.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Am I correct in perceiving that this was mostly Maureen McDonnell’s doing?

Robert_Paulson on January 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but regardless, if McDonnell had any future political ambitions — either in the realm of a return to Virginia’s governorship or even 2016 contention — well… Oof.

Wrong, Erika.

All he has to do is switch to the Democrat Party — where this will be considered a résumé enhancement …

ShainS on January 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

This is why you see GOP-types screaming “true conservatives!!!1″ all the time.

Why, if an actual conservative was elected our thieving might stop.

They don’t want these type of scams to end.

tetriskid on January 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Former Gov. McDonnell and first lady indicted on 14 counts in gifts scandal

That probably explains why Crooked Christie hasn’t been removed as the leader of the Republican Governors Association, maybe they’re all corrupt.

FloatingRock on January 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Another RINO bites the dust. MJ Brutus, Buy Danish, Redford, Crosspatch, basilsbest and rubberneck hardest hit.

bw222 on January 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Virginia, US
12m
Ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said law has been stretched to ‘the breaking point’ in his indictment – @CBS6 live video
read more on wtvr.com
======================

Virginia, US
14m
Ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, indicted in gifts case, says he has been wrongly accused: ‘I did nothing illegal’ – @CBS6 live video
read more on wtvr.com

canopfor on January 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I look at that list of trinkets and thought of the line from A Man for All Seasons: “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?!”

Socratease on January 21, 2014 at 7:35 PM

CBS 6 WTVR Richmond ‏@CBS6 24m

McDonnell calls gifts scandal indictment “unjust overreach of federal government.”
Expand
=========

CBS 6 WTVR Richmond ‏@CBS6 25m

McDonnell: Federal investigation of my family has been agonizing over the past year.
Expand

canopfor on January 21, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Not to mention the scandal probably helped McAwful get over the top.

Southernblogger on January 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Am I correct in perceiving that this was mostly Maureen McDonnell’s doing?

Robert_Paulson on January 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

That’s what I was thinking … until they got to the golf stuff.

bw222 on January 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Seeing how supportive you were of Cuce, I’ll reciprocate the flavor in my support of you, Bobby.

Oh, wait! Never mind. Go twist in the wind.

AH_C on January 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

No excuses, especially on the name-brand crap.

However, if they were Ds, they’d be heroes.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Boyo,…are the knives out for the GOP!!

Narrative Mission Operation, for Perception/Deception, 2014/2016
as Evil Doers!!!

canopfor on January 21, 2014 at 7:48 PM

GiftGate!!!!!

-msm

Electrongod on January 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Let the RINOs sink!

rickv404 on January 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

I hear orange jumpsuits are in this year, and they are cheap.

Smiles on January 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Innocent until proven guilty, of course, but regardless, if McDonnell had any future political ambitions — either in the realm of a return to Virginia’s governorship or even 2016 contention — well… Oof.

Wrong, Erika.

All he has to do is switch to the Democrat Party — where this will be considered a résumé enhancement …

ShainS on January 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

… and win in a landslide!

KOOLAID2 on January 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Rule #1: Don’t accept gifts.

If they can’t even follow the first rule…..

portlandon on January 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

I have a hard time putting faith in this justice dept when they indict anyone, let alone a Republican governor.

JellyToast on January 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

He did nothing illegal in exchange for the gifts? That’s the worst kind of politician, one you buy and get nothing in return. At least Blago was willing to sell a Senate seat.

Maybe they don’t know how to do corruption in Virginia.

rbj on January 21, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Erika, why didn’t you mention their party affiliation? Are you a Republican, too?

Christien on January 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Didn’t Obama give Moochelle a Christmas gift……?
Another week in Hawaii on our dime?

Just sayin’

Electrongod on January 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Didn’t Obama give Moochelle a Christmas gift……?
Another week in Hawaii on our dime?

Just sayin’

Electrongod on January 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

He probably did that so he could get some man on man time

OmahaConservative on January 21, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Didn’t Obama give Moochelle a Christmas gift……?
Another week in Hawaii on our dime?

Just sayin’

Electrongod on January 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Electrongod: Speaking of FLOTUS:0
=================================

basketball
7h
Video: First lady Michelle Obama shows off basketball moves in new video with The Miami Heat, last year’s NBA champions – via @letsmove
==============

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NPE8oJZtzo8/Ut6ezCdzSwI/AAAAAAAAHSY/_mK_PpML2Yc/w500-h282-no/airflotus.0_standard_709.0.gif

canopfor on January 21, 2014 at 8:07 PM

When will these idiots figure out you don’t take delivery of the bribes before you leave office. Crikey. Greedy, short-sighted and stupid.

You do the favors in exchange for understandings. After you’ve left office, the bribes come rolling in in the form of bloated speaking fees and lucrative business deals and such, and you pass the word (wink) to the next public servant that this guy honors his deals.

The Clintons had this one figured out, and now they are richer than Croesus. Obama plays the game, too.

Why are Republicans so damned stupid?

fadetogray on January 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

No excuses, especially on the name-brand crap.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

.
Dittos … totally.
.

However, if they were Ds, they’d be heroes.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

.
If they were Ds, we’d never know anything had happened.

No scandal, no news, no anything.

listens2glenn on January 21, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Why are Republicans so damned stupid?

fadetogray on January 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

.
‘Cause they’re not as experienced at it?

listens2glenn on January 21, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Just finished reading the indictment brief. This was mostly Maureen, but Bob and their kids took gifts, too. Certainly, the McDonnells were reckless in terms of the frequency with which they solicited Williams. Virginia has pretty loose “gift” rules for public officials, so I’m not sure every charge here is going to stick. Frankly, the prosectors over-charged here. McDonnell essentially went right up to the line. Will be interested to see what McDonnell’s defense is. Could definitely see him & Maureen getting nabbed with the false statement and obstruction charges.

Robert_Paulson on January 21, 2014 at 8:29 PM

fadetogray on January 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

They were basically flat broke when they went into office. I think a certain kind of “overly-indebted middle class” desperation drove this thing. Plus, of course, the sense of entitlement to nice things that too-often seems to go hand-in-hand with being a powerful politician.

Robert_Paulson on January 21, 2014 at 8:33 PM

‘Cause they’re not as experienced at it?

listens2glenn on January 21, 2014 at 8:29 PM

I figure it’s that, but it starts with all the smart crooks knowing they should become Democrats before they even enter the arena. The grifters the GOP gets are the slow learners.

fadetogray on January 21, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Not to mention the scandal probably helped McAwful get over the top.

Southernblogger on January 21, 2014 at 7:41 PM

This scandal was the biggest single thing that hurt the Cuccinelli campaign.

Doomberg on January 21, 2014 at 8:55 PM

I still want to know when (IRS) Lois Lerner and Sarah Ingram are going to prison.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 21, 2014 at 8:57 PM

What bothers me is how fast this ex-governor and his wife have been indicted by the feds, while we have been waiting years for an indictment in the “Fast and Furious” scandal. Could the proirities of this Department of Justice be out of wack?

savage24 on January 21, 2014 at 8:59 PM

RINO’s pillage and plunder, no one really shocked.

SouthernGent on January 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

He’s gotta turn Democrat.
They never go to jail.

RdLake on January 22, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Innocent until proven guilty, of course,
ERIKA JOHNSEN

Tell that to Tom Delay.
Innocent until we can find a corrupt liberal with the authority to smear him, pile on our state run media, and by the time the courts figure out what we’ve done we’ll all have been dead for years and our media with bury anyway.
I admit I jumped on him too until I remembered what they did to Delay. “Held him to his standard” via false accusations and fraudulent judicial efforts. So if this man is a republican? He’ll have to survive a front page witch trial first. Were he a member of the Black Panther II party? He could have killed a theater full of people and the Charlie Rose/Dianne Sawyer brothel would have blamed it on a republican. His face/name remain unknown/unpublished.

onomo on January 22, 2014 at 8:03 AM

I can and will talk about whether what the governor and his wife did was ethical. In my estimation- it was not.

But under the law, what was done is not criminal and this is nothing more than a political prosecution designed to remove him from politics.

The real proof of this truth will come when the issues around the current governor of Virginia are explored.

Let’s see where those go- shall we?

Marcus Traianus on January 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Let’s see where those go- shall we?

Marcus Traianus on January 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Let’s.

onomo on January 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Ugggg. I live in Virginia, and the putz we have for governor right now is in the pocket of the Chinese. Compared from the corruption we’re gonna get from McAuliffe, McDonnell’s gonna look like a piker.

olesparkie on January 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Remember when we were told (by the usual suspects) that McDonnell’s msg of economics was the winning message for Republicans, who needed to kick the SoCons to the curb?
Seems like Bob (and his wife) were too focused on economics (their own), and should have thought more about ethics and morals.

Another Drew on January 22, 2014 at 2:50 PM

RdLake on January 22, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Visited J.J.Jr. lately?

Another Drew on January 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Didn’t Terry McCaulliffe buy the Clinton’s a whole damb house on loan? And what did HE get in exchange, I wonder?

And in NY, who paid for Weiner’s $250K wedding on Long Island? The couple did not have any money. The bride received a $50K Oscar de la Renta wedding dress, and it was spashed all over the people pages and Vogue. As long as we are getting into wedding costs, the Weiner’s was a lot more expensive.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/29/weiner-didnt-declare-costs-for-lavish-2010-wedding-to-long-suffering-wife/

Fleuries on January 22, 2014 at 4:14 PM