McDonnell Found Guilty in Corruption Trial

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonell has been found guilty on corruption charges for exchanging money and gifts for political favors to a company that makes fraudulent health supplements. Apparently, his strategy of blaming it all on his wife because she’s just so crazy and uncontrollable wasn’t convincing for the jury.

A federal jury Thursday found former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of public corruption–sending a message that they believed the couple sold the office once occupied by Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson to a free spending Richmond businessman for golf outings, lavish vacations and $120,000 in sweetheart loans.

After three days of deliberations, the seven men and five women who heard weeks of gripping testimony about the McDonnells’ alleged misdeeds acquitted the couple of several charges pending against them–but nevertheless found that they lent the prestige of the governor’s office to Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in a nefarious exchange for his largesse…

Robert McDonnell has been found guilty of 11 corruption counts. He has been found not guilty of falsifying loan documents.

Maureen McDonnell has been found guilty of 8 corruption counts as well as obstruction of justice. She has also been found not guilty of falsifying loan documents.

They could face decades in prison, but the sentence is likely to be much shorter than that. Maybe he can share a cell with Rod Blagojevich. He is the first governor in Virginia history to be convicted of corruption.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mr Ed

    John Rowland former governor and felon from Connecticut might be headed back. Wonder if we could get a prison doo-wop band entitled The Convicted Governors.

  • Michael Heath

    Besides blaming his wife, the most interesting aspect of this case was Bob McDonnell’s shock at being convicted. That reminded me of Mitt Romney’s shock on election day 2012. Mr. Romney was confident he was going to win, in spite of all the poll results going back to at least mid-summer 2012.

  • laurentweppe

    @ Michael Heath:

    It’s not that similar: Romney was a presidential candidate who had just spent several months on an adrenaline-high campaign trail: over-estimating his own chances of victory is a venial sin compared to McDonnell’s certainty that his patrician status insulated him from the judiciary

  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton:

    They could face decades in prison, but the sentence is likely to be much shorter than that.

    Rachel Maddow went through the federal sentencing guidelines on-air a few days ago; noting in passing she’s an amateur and that the guidelines aren’t entirely mandatory, she came up with a figure of 97-121 months. From what I’ve read of the trial, the defense didn’t do anything that would really piss off the judge (like frivolous motions), meaning one decade is likely the upper bound.

  • dingojack

    So out for Halloween 2022 to 2024 then.

    Dingo

  • garnetstar

    I saw a short interview with a friend or neighbor of the McDonnells, who was asked what she thought of the convictions. She thought that, since Bob and Maureen are such good people, the federal government must have launched a conspiracy against them.

    To which I can only quote Barney Frank: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

    Breathing the rarefied air of Planet Wingnuttia is what causes the impenetrable delusions that were noted above.

  • Michael Heath

    garnetstar reports:

    I saw a short interview with a friend or neighbor of the McDonnells, who was asked what she thought of the convictions. She thought that, since Bob and Maureen are such good people loyal Liars for Jesus®, the federal government must have launched a conspiracy against them.

    That’s what I observe coming from the McConnell’s friend or neighbor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    :But, but…we can’t be guilty! We’re white. rich, and we love Jeebus.”

  • grumpyoldfart

    Corrupt politicians? In America? The mind boggles.

  • hcnc

    Corruption in our government is rampant.

    Consider what has been going on for four years in a federal court in Texas. As described at http://LawInjustice.com, a business owner was involved in a civil dispute and paid millions of dollars to lawyers, and when he objected to additional fees after settling the case, they had a “friendly” judge seize all of his possessions, without any notice or hearing, and essentially ordered him under “house arrest” as an involuntary servant to the lawyers. The business owner has been under this “servant” order for 3 years and is prohibited from owning any possessions, prohibited from working, etc..

    …and some quotes from the judge on the first day he got assigned the case:

    THE COURT: “I’m telling you don’t scr-w with me. You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to scr-w with a federal judge, and if you don’t understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy behind me.”

    THE COURT: “You realize that order is an order of the Court. So any failure to comply with that order is contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death”

  • abb3w

    @10, hcnc

    As described at

    […]

    Looks to be fallout from this case. Interesting question from the ruling: “The court, looking at the totality of evidence, and looking at the whole history before and after the Receivership, finds itself asking why did Mr. Baron engage so many lawyers and why were the fees so high?”

    The ruling makes it look like this guy is a bottom-feeding internet con artist who thought he was being clever and instead did the legal equivalent of painting himself into a corner.

  • eric

    I saw a short interview with a friend or neighbor of the McDonnells, who was asked what she thought of the convictions. She thought that, since Bob and Maureen are such good people, the federal government must have launched a conspiracy against them

    Its a common human failing that goes well beyond religion. We tend to think in terms of good people and bad people, and dislike thinking about the fact that generally good people can do bad things. Sometimes very bad.

    I think it’s hard to grapple with because we don’t like to think of the possibility that the other generally good people in our lives, that we’ve come to trust, might do something bad to us. If I was that wrong about McDonnell-my-good-neighor, then I could be that wrong about trusting Wendy my babysitter, or trusting my spouse not to cheat, etc… And those things don’t bear thinking about. One could descend into paranoia pretty easily. So I’d rather believe I was right about McDonnell than accept that I may be wrong in trusting Wendy or my spouse.

  • bruceheerssen

    What gets me is that Bob McDonell turned down a very generous plea bargain for one count against him, and none for his wife. He simply could not admit guild for anything, and was so convinced of his own invulnerability that he exchanged what would have been an extremely light sentence (likely probation and a little community service) for himself only, for what could be a quite lengthy prison sentence for both he and his wife.

    The mind, as they say, boggles.