14 Felony Counts for Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia Governor and Ken doll come to life Bob McDonnell and his wife have been hit with 14 federal felony indictments stemming from his acceptance of $135,000 in gifts and loans from a major donor and purveyor of scam medical supplements while in office.

In what Republican state legislator Bob Marshall called the “type of activity” that “undermines public confidence,” McDonnell and his family allegedly accepted more than $135,000 in gifts and/or loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the then-CEO of Star Scientific Inc. The McDonnells then helped promote the scientifically-unproven dietary supplements line made by thecontroversial tobacco company-turned-supplements manufacturer. While Virginia’s lax gifts law allows elected officials to accept unlimited gifts — even from lobbyists and those with business before the state — McDonnell apparently failed to fully disclose what he and his wife received.

The gifts included a silver Rolex watch, golf clubs, Louis Vitton shoes, and $15,000 to help pay for the McDonnells’ daughter’s wedding. According to the indictment, the former governor and his wife conspired to commit wire fraud to accept bribes, knowingly made false statements on loan applications to avoid reporting the Williams loans, and obstructed justice…

Then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) had to recuse himself from a state investigation into the McDonnells because he too had received thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Williams. That investigation is still ongoing.

Ironically, McDonnell ran for governor on a platform of “trust and accountability.” In astatement Tuesday, McDonnell continued to deny any violation of the law and vowed to ” use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”

McDonnell, despite being incredibly stupid (or maybe because of it), was considered a rising star in Republican politics until this scandal hit.

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  • tubi

    So, this is an “unjust overreach of the federal government.” But requiring all women seeking abortion to have a probe jammed in their nethers is not an overreach of state government?

    Fuck you , Bob McDonnell. Or should I say, federal inmate #123456?

  • colnago80

    It’s a little sad because McDonnell wasn’t all that bad a governor as Rethuglicans go. He actually got a sorely needed transportation program passed, although I would have preferred an increase in the gas tax, rather then the funding mechanisms he ended up choosing. A Governor Koo Koo Ken Cuccinelli would have been much worse.

  • vmanis1

    Well, to be fair, his obsession with transvaginal probes had already damaged his chances in national politics. He started disappearing from the national scene prior to the Star Scientific story getting much press; being called `Governor Ultrasound’ probably ruined his squeaky-clean image as a moderate. But the indictment is certainly a fitting capstone to his career. (Interestingly, most of the counts name the Governor and his wife jointly; but they have separate legal teams. I have no idea whether that’s significant, but I can imagine his response, `the Devil made me do it’, and hers, `the Governor made me do it’.)

    Rachel Maddow had an amusing correction recently. She had been saying that both GOP governors elected in 2009, Christie and McDonnell, had gotten in trouble. In fact, there was a third GOP governor elected then, Benigno Fitial of the North Marianas. He was impeached on corruption charges, and before he could be tried in the Commonwealth Senate, he resigned. So the GOP is 3 for 3 in the Class of ’09.

  • vmanis1

    Just a clarification on my previous comment: I had no intention of saying that Gov Ultrasound IS a moderate (he’s a right-wing loony fruitcake who promulgated `Confederate History Month’), just that he cultivated an image as one.

  • Nick Gotts

    Well, you could have knocked me down with a sledgehammer!

  • grumpyoldfart

    $135,000. That would be pretty cheap to buy a US State Governor wouldn’t it?

  • Alverant

    Are you sure he’s still not a rising star? This is one of those things that probably won’t hurt his career in the long term after the buzz goes down. Remember that Tom Delay had his conviction overturned by a friendly judge and is back shilling for the GOP. And how about Vitter, who did something that should have gotten him impeached from Congress but instead got a standing ovation from his fellow teabaggers, you said he was running for Gov of Louisiana.

    In any case I expect the cons will be talking about persecution and trying to justify what he did by pointing out some Democrat who did something similar (as if that makes it OK).

  • doublereed

    Would he actually go to prison for this?

    It’s not like he can step down as governor. He’s not governor. So how would they punish something like this?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    “…and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”

    Just another small-time authoritarian scammer crying about “tyranny” when he’s caught. He’s gone very quickly from “Republican hopeful” to “small-time scammer pretending to be a freedom-fighter,” right along with the Montana Freemen, the North Dakota neo-apartheid land ripoff, the goldbuggers and the Titan Shelter folks.

  • busterggi

    “_______________________________ was considered a rising star in Republican politics until this scandal hit.”

    Sooooo many names could fill in that blank.

  • cptdoom

    I love the McDonnell keeps pointing out he didn’t violate the VA law on gifts. However, the indictments are not of violations of Commonwealth law, they are of federal law, and quite explicitly paint a portrait of a couple willing to enjoy all kinds of luxuries they could never afford, in exchange for using the office of Governor to promote Star Scientific’s miracle tobacco pill (no I am not joking). The quid pro quo is pretty obvious, and one wonders whether McDonnell will still be declaring his innocence on state charges while appealing his sentence from a federal prison.

    Of course, because Mrs. McDonnell was the one making many of the negotiations for these gifts (including telling Williams exactly what to engrave on the Rolex he was buying McDonnell), it is possible the two legal teams are going to allow the governor to throw his wife under the ole bus and save his own skin. Like a real gentleman.

  • Alverant

    @11

    So now we have “state rights” overriding federal law. How nice of them. I guess that’s why they support states rights, because they treat their states like their own private country and damn the US Constitution.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    It’s not a slam dunk. A Georgia senator had some ‘splaining to do about dozens of instances (he was indicted on 18 counts) of being reimbursed for reported food and mileage expenses in Georgia on multiple occasions when he actually was in other states being winded, dined and jetted around by lobbyists.

    He was acquitted in December.

    He has been stripped of a committee chairmanship and is a pariah even among his fellow Republicans, who look on with disdain when their brothers embarrass them by getting caught ripping off the taxpayers.

  • Randomfactor
  • kangxi

    A poster above says that a Gov Cuccinelli would have been worse, were he to have been elected instead. That was my default opinion too – eg, the man’s behaviour in persecuting Prof Mann was inexcusable.

    And then, seeking for further reasons to detest the man, I had a look at his Wiki page, where it appears he has done some very decent things too. For example (to quote Wiki) “He donated $100,000 from his inauguration fundraising effort to a Richmond non-profit that provides medical and mental health services to the homeless, saying inauguration events should be used to shed light on impoverished and underserved citizens.”

    But the big surprise for me was to read about his support for a victim of a miscarriage of justice, one Thomas Haynesworth, who served 27 years before being exonerated. As Wiki puts it: “Cuccinelli was involved in advocating for the exoneration of Thomas Haynesworth, who had served 27 years until new evidence emerged. As attorney general, Cuccinelli argued in court for Haynesworth’s exoneration and Cuccinelli hired Haynesworth to work in his office as a clerk. Haynesworth said Cuccinelli was “an extraordinary guy”, having “put it on the line for me”, and continues to work in Cuccinelli’s office. Shawn Armbrust of the Innocence Project, who helped bring the Haynesworth case to Cuccinelli’s office’s attention, said Cuccinelli invited Haynesworth to his office to personally apologize for the 27 years Haynesworth spent in jail. George Mason University political scientist Mark Rozell said, “People perceive Cuccinelli as a hard-right figure on a number of issues. They don’t tend to see him as having a soft side.”

    Read the wiki article on Haynesworth, it’s quite detailed.

    An idol with feet of, well, gold I suppose. Or has wiki been doctored?

  • colnago80

    Re kangxi @ #15

    Yeah, and Schickelgruber was kind to his dog.

  • mobius

    McDonnell said in a press release that the charges were all false because they are partisan.

    Given that nearly everything the Republicans say these days is partisan, and how many of them are false, one can see where he might come to that conclusion.

  • Donnie

    These things pisses the fuck out of me. As a federal government employee, I cannot accept anything more than $20. I am a fucking peon that other peons spit upon. However, laws for the Executive Branch consider anything more than $20 ethical. My wife had to turn down a bordeaux wine dinner invite from a friend of 20+ years because he worked in an industry regulated by her bureau (not her, but her bureau). I have known him for 10+ years, but I had to decline because of the apperance of impropriety.

    Yet, the governer of VA is not in trouble for accepting $135, 000 in gifts and cash, but for not disclosing it. Our political process isfucked up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/whumenansky williamhumenansky

    Just read where D’Souza has been indicted for some kind of campaign finance

    fraud.

  • had3

    Should have taken up torturing people instead, apparently that gets a free pass from our government.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I think that all of these idiots have a hero in one Hedley Lamar. He’s a fictional bad guy and they’re all fictional good guys.

  • gerryl

    Listening to a radio podcast on the way home from work tonight, this made me laugh out loud: The progressive radio talk show guy, an obsessive collector of political buttons, has one for Bob McDonnell that refers to him as the “Governor of Vagina.”

  • dingojack

    OK, nobody else was crass enough to ask: –

    Ed, you posted: “… Ken doll come to life Bob McDonnell …”

    How do you know exactly?

    Dingo

    ——–

    Dr Ray Stantz: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

    Walter Peck: They caused an explosion!

    Mayor: Is this true?

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes it’s true. — This man has no dick.