Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell and Wife Charged With Corruption

By:  Bob Adelmann
01/23/2014
       
Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell and Wife Charged With Corruption

The towering list of appalling evidence of corruption by former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen presented to the grand jury has effectively ended McDonnell's political career.

Immediately after former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife Maureen were charged with 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy, McDonnell responded with a seven-minute-long declaration of innocence while his attorneys filed a motion challenging the government’s legal theory used in bringing the charges. The charges stem from a four-year relationship the McDonnells had with the wealthy owner of a nutritional supplement company who allegedly bought special favors from them with loans, personal use of his private plane, and shopping trips.

The 43-page grand jury indictment was released on Tuesday and laid out in excruciatingly painful detail the alleged wrongdoings, quoting e-mails between Mrs. McDonnell and members of the governor’s staff and with Jonnie Williams, the owner of Star Scientific, the maker of a nutritional supplement called Anatabloc. Here are some of those details:

In or about March 2009, as a result of requests from Robert McDonnell’s staff to [Jonnie Williams – referred to throughout as “JW”], Robert McDonnell began using a jet aircraft owned by JW during his campaign for Governor of Virginia. Prior to this time, Robert McDonnell and JW had never met, and they had no personal or professional relationship…

On or about October 3, 2010, JW agreed to let Robert McDonnell use JW’s aircraft to fly from Richmond, Virginia, to Sacramento, California, for a political event.... JW used the trip as an opportunity to discuss Star Scientific’s products directly with Robert McDonnell.... JW told Robert McDonnell that Star Scientific needed the assistance of the Virginia [state] government, and Robert McDonnell told JW that he would put JW in contact with the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources…

The indictment spelled out the wrongdoing:

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