43-pages explain McDonnells’ indictment on 14 counts

Posted on: 3:26 pm, January 21, 2014, by , , and , updated on: 12:48am, January 22, 2014

McDonnell and wife

Click to read the 43-page indictment

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Less than two weeks after leaving the governor’s mansion in Richmond, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been indicted in connection to their relationship with political donor Jonnie Williams Sr.

The former governor and First Lady Maureen McDonnell were indicted on a combined 14 counts including Honest-Services Wire Fraud, Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right, making False Statement, and Obstruction of Official Proceedings.

The McDonnells’ are summoned to appear in court for a bond hearing on Friday, at 10 a.m. The news first broke in the Washington Post, who has extensively covered the scandal beginning with allegations against former executive chef Todd Schneider.

In March 2012, CBS 6 reported that Schneider had left his position, as state police were looking into a reported allegation of “improprieties involving the kitchen operation at the governor’s mansion.”

Shortly after the chef’s attorney, Steve Benjamin, filed a motion for discovery to reveal operations of the mansion, which is when details began to emerge about the McDonnells’ relationship with Williams.

Bob McDonnell and Terry McAuliffe

Bob McDonnell and Terry McAuliffe

Last month the Washington Post reported the Justice Department chose to delay possible felony charges against McDonnell and his wife after the governor’s attorneys made an appeal in Washington.

To enable a smooth transition of power as Terry McAuliffe became governor, attorneys asked that if prosecutors were to file charges, that it happen after Jan. 11, according to the Washington Post. The former governor and his wife were indicted 10 days after McAuliffe’s Jan. 11 inauguration.

The McDonnells “participated in a scheme,” from April 2011 through March 2013,  to use Bob McDonnell’s “official position as the Governor of Virginia to enrich the defendants and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts, and other things of value from JW [Johnnie Williams Sr.] and Star Scientific in exchange for Bob McDonnell and the Office of the Governor performing official actions on an as-needed basis, as opportunities arose, to legitimize, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific’s products, including Anatabloc®,” according to the indictment

An earlier probe uncovered evidence that Williams has given the governor and his family more than $150,000 in gifts and loans over an 18-month period. Such gifts included Rolex watches, family vacations, loans for McDonnell’s real estate business, and even a $15,000 dollar check to his daughter for her wedding. [Scroll to the bottom for a complete list of items]

The indictment indicates the McDonnells “took steps throughout that time to conceal the scheme.”

“I am obviously troubled by the charges that federal prosecutors have made against Governor McDonnell and his wife Maureen and the message that this period in our history sends about how government in this Commonwealth is run,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said, in a statement sent to the press.

“This is a sad day for Virginia, but I remain optimistic that we can work together to reform our system in order to prevent episodes like this from occurring ever again,” the statement continued.

Virginia’s gift laws are some of the most lax in the country, although immediately after his inauguration, Gov. McAuliffe signed an executive order with new standards and definitions intended to prevent such scandals.

A bipartisan group of House members introduced an ethics reform proposal that would introduce a $250 cap on gifts from lobbyists or others with state business. The Such a reform would tighten law considered the laxest in the state but items such as food, travel and entertainment are excluded. Technically a member could still receive a $250 gift card daily from different lobbyist. That’s $91,250 at the end of the year.

The Virginia House Republican leadership expressed obvious disappointment in a statement to the media.

“We know that he has always strived to serve with the utmost conviction and integrity. Admittedly, he has made mistakes in judgment. He has apologized for those actions, which we know all Virginians deeply appreciate.”

“Today is a sad day for the Commonwealth of Virginia. If nothing else, this speaks to the urgent need for comprehensive ethics reform,” Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico) said in a statement.

The 43-page indictment states that when Maureen McDonnell asked Williams for a $50,000 loan, on May 2, 2011, she told him that she could help Star Scientific but that she needed William’s financial assistance. [READ THE FULL INDICTMENT HERE: McDonnells' Indictment]

The indictment states that around May 9, 2011, a member of the governor’s staff reached out to the Secretary of Health about the Governor speaking at a Star Scientific event at the RosKamp Institute. Then on May 17, the First Lady entered a calendar event to attend the event. Five days later two checks were written to Maureen McDonnell.

One was for the $50,000 loan amount and the other was $15,000 with a memo annotation “wedding gift.”  Prior to depositing those check, Maureen had $4,798 in her account.

The indictment chronicles a timeline of events, such as the McDonnells using Williams’ lake house and Ferrari.

The indictment consistently points out contributions from Williams, followed by promotion of Anatabloc. For example, at 7:47 p.m. July 31, Mrs. McDonnell emailed Williams a picture of Bob in the Ferrari.

Four hours later Mr. McDonnell sent an email to the Virginia Secretary of Health stating that he “would like to have [one of the Secretary of Health's Deputies] attend a short briefing at the mansion about 10 a.m. with first lady on the Star Scientific anatablock [sic] trials planned in Va. at VCU and UVA.”

A few hours after the indictment was released, Bob McDonnell gave a press conference that called the indictment an “unjust overreach of federal government.”

Property subject to forfeiture includes but is not limited to the following:
The sum of not less than $140,805.46;
Black Rebecca Minkoff shoes;
Black Louis Vuitton shoes;
White Louis Vuitton shoes;
Cream Louis Vuitton purse;
Cream Louis Vuitton wallet;
Silver Rolex Watch engraved with “71s1 Governor of Virginia”;
Yellow Peter Som dress;
Blue Armani jacket and two matching dresses;
Two Gold Oscar de la Renta dresses;
Black Louis Vuitton rain coat;
Gold Oscar de le Renta sweater;
One pair of Amelia Rose earrings;
One Gear sweatshirt;
Two pairs of Foot Joy golf shoes;
One button-down Ralph Lauren shirt;
One white Peter Millar golf shirt;
One baby blue striped Peter Millar golf shirt;
One royal blue Peter Millar golf shirt;
One aqua Fairway Greene Tech golf shirt;
One white striped Ralph Lauren golf shirt;
One Ping University of Virginia golf bag;
One Ping Kinloch golf bag;
One Sun Mountain Notre Dame golf bag;
Two sets of golf clubs;
One Heather Mackenzie water color and frame;
Two iPhones; and
30 boxes of Anatabloc®.

36 comments

  • Concerned says:

    Why did this indictment come now and not while he was in office???

    • Morning Dew says:

      To enable a smooth transition of power as Terry McAuliffe became governor, attorneys asked that if prosecutors were to file charges, that it happen after Jan. 11, according to the Washington Post. The former governor and his wife were indicted 10 days after McAuliffe’s Jan. 11 inauguration.

  • Ken Sosinsky says:

    The Republicans stopped it !! In any event he is indicted, “YES” !! It is not what you received but the expectations on behalf of the ‘giver’ when the gifts were provided: guilty!!

    Now, if he only would have to reimburse the state for his “I’m didn’t do anything wrong” legal fees

    • Allan from Ashland says:

      I think that amount is near a million dollars, BTW..

      • Carolyn Rector says:

        Guilty before a trial? This man is being manipulated by the Fed Govt! I think they will do the same to Chris Christie to eliminate all viable candidates to run against Hillary. “Oh what difference does it make, at this point”.

    • athynz says:

      He didn’t do anything illegal.

  • X says:

    This is nothing more than a political witch hunt on McDonnell by the Feds at the direction of 0bama because McDonnell is a good governor and a very viable presidential candidate (Or was). There are no laws barring him receiving gifts and everybody knows that 0bama+wife, Plugs and all their cronies received many many many more gifts paid for by the American public than McDonnell ever hoped to receive. This is Chicago politics, nothing more. Its Disgusting.

    • Allan from Ashland says:

      Read the story on TimesDisp. Perhaps you’ll be singing a different tune then.

    • XYZ says:

      Hum. Let’s see: Wisconsin’s Governor, Arizona’s Governor, New Jersey’s Governor; Virginia’s Governor…seems to set a Political Precedence of Attack Strategy.
      So odd, when that particular Party Never Faces they own Scandals.
      Wonder if the Democratic Richmond Mayor and his big Rich,
      Who’s Who and Corporations Friends with Benefits and Buy Ins or Pay Offs will ever FACE an investigation into Corruption & Collusion? NO!
      How Politically Correct & Politically Convenient.
      They seem to be able to run, hide, escape and evade under built in protections and media cover.

    • Donna says:

      Wow, where did all the millions Obama has come from? Gifts from Oprah, LL cool j and Beyonce???? Who is calling the kettle BLACK???
      Democrats are such a bunch of corrupt thieves, someone should look for skeletons in their closets!!

      • athynz says:

        Agreed.

      • Morning Dew says:

        One of the first tricks liers use is to point the finger at someone else. That’s right, go look at Obama and see what he has, then the heat is off of McDonnell. Both may be guilty or neither, but you really should stick to the topic.

    • CHARLES says:

      OH SO PEOPLE CAN BREAK THE LAWS OF VA. AND JUST WALK???? COME ON. SO YOUR TELLING ME OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO ANYTHING AND NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE? THIS IS ON MCDONNELL AND HIS WIFE, THEY TOOK THE FUNDS TRIED TO HIDE GOT CAUGHT TIIME TO PAY. OH YEA NOT YELLING I CAN SEE THE CAPS BETTER. WHEN REGULAR FOLKS DO THE CRIME THEY DO THE TIME, SAME LAW APPLIES TO THEM. I LIVE IN VA FOR YEARS WE HAVE HAD DEMOCRAT GOVERNORS, NO SCANDAL, OUR FIRST REPUBLICAN IN YEARS AND COMES OUT HIM AND HIS WIFE ARE DOING UNDERHANDED THINGS, AND NO HE WAS NOT A GOOD GOVERNOR, AND NO OBAMA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS, YOU NEED TO TAKE THE MEDS FOR YOUR OBAMA SYNDROME, CONTRARY TO POPULAR DEMAND HE IS NOT GOD, AND HE DOES NOT AFFECT EVERYTHING. BUT LIKE IT SAYS IN THE BIBLE, WHAT A MAN SOWS SO SHALL HE REAP.

      • athynz says:

        What VA state laws did he break? NONE. There IS no law on the books about accepting gifts.

      • not dem not rep an AMERICAN says:

        don’t know how long you have lived here, but I have lived here all my life and oh YES WE HAVE HAD CORRUPT DEM’s and those DEM’s put this beautiful STATE into GREAT DEBT now why was the only Pres. that got The United States of America into the black was Pres. Reagan with the Buy American Act Pres. Reagan put people to work and everyone had money to spend, to spend on other things beside just food and gas I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want other peoples money I want to make my own money and I want to be able to do other things besides buy only food and gas If anyone out there will put forth policies as Pres. Reagan did I would vote for that person in a heart beat EVEN if that person had gone to jail and smoked pot!!!

  • M.L. Adams says:

    Don’t blame ‘x’ for not signing his name; he’s got to be dumber than ten fireplugs to think that this is a witch hunt! It’s a person in power using his office for personal gain. Period!

    • Y says:

      And over $600 million for a failed website via a sole source contract to a friend of the FLOTUS is not problem but this is? Purely political attempt to remove Hillary’s contenders and you know it.

      • manalishi says:

        Best call yet.

      • athynz says:

        Exactly! I read a meme somewhere that stated there are 600 million Americans and they spent over 600 million on this failed website – so why not simply give a million dollars to each American to pay for medical bills and be done with it?

    • XYZ says:

      Oh, like Obama? Pelosi? Reid? The Party that engorged and
      enriched selves, friends, cohorts, and financiers from their Raid on the US Treasury by their Energy Department SCAMS?

  • According to the story above; they (the McDonnell’s) were soliciting, which means they contacted the individual offering the governor’s position of influence for personal gain. I get you this and you give me what you think it’s worth. This, to me, is different from a gift.

  • XYZ says:

    Didn’t Democratic Governor McAuliffe sell overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom for a Price while Clinton was in the WH?
    Didn’t they sell out Virginia, Mississippi, and Country to the Chinese
    for $500,000 a pop for voting and citizenship rights?
    The Big SCAM of Clintons “deal” with the already Incorporated Mississippi GreenTech? The set up by Clinton for McAuliffe to step
    right into Greentech to show McAuliffe’s Business Savvy. Then they set up up cottage industries for friends and family by using and abusing government departments and agencies through Clinton power and connections.
    You saying that is Perfectly Politically Correct solely for Democrats?
    Or is it yellow rain, that isn’t rain, and pure IT!
    Run, Hide, Escape, Evade, and Excuse THAT!

    • XYZ says:

      Investigate Democratic Mayor Jones for his “deals”!

    • MmeB says:

      Didn’t Dem Gov. McAuliffe just pay Boyd Marcus off for his endorsement with a 6 figure a year job appointment to the ABC Board?
      Though no Virginia laws were broken, I’m not defending Maureen’s greed— just sick of Dem. hypocrisy.

  • cc says:

    The entire DGS is corrupt, I’m wondering will he cover for them???

  • cc says:

    All of the side hand deals that go on and it’s the Gov, who gets caught, what about all the kickbacks for the “Special projects”?

  • manalishi says:

    Considering it’s from the Obama/Holder racist political justice department, it’s hard telling. Had it been a federal grand jury indictment, i would give it more credibility.

  • lions1002 says:

    The sad part is how much control Obama has over McDonnell. He didn’t have to take the money and there wouldn’t be an investigation.

  • T Sweeney says:

    Governor McDonnell’s mistake was accepting the money WHILE in office.

    Democrats, who wrote the book on corruption (and it’s a big book), usually wait until after the term is over for the goodies, like the $18 million sweetheart Global Crossings investment deal which CURRENT governor Terry McAulliffe took for working as a go-between for the big Clinton contributor who founded Global Crossing and the Clinton administration. Global Crossing contributed MILLIONS to Democrat lobbyists in an attempt to stop competitors from obtaining federal licenses.

    If you are going to be a crook, read the book Mr. McDonnell and go LARGE on the cash, not settle for a Rolex and some petty cash.

    And join the Democrat Party, where such behavior is expected.

  • athynz says:

    Here’s the thing – What McDonnell did was not illegal by Virginia state law. It was a poor judgment call as it lent the appearance if not the reality of being unethical, but it was not illegal. Plus he paid back all of the money plus interest as well as returned the gifts.His political career is over and done with.

    My question is what is it about McDonnell that scares the Democrats so much that they will do everything they can including use the resources of the federal government to indict him? Why go after someone who did nothing illegal? Partisan politics at work and you sheep keep right on falling for it.

  • James Taylor says:

    Why hasn’t obama been indicted for his solyndra dealings? What were the benefits Williams and Star Scientific received? If they didn’t receive benefits, McDonnell didn’t technically do anything wrong, just unethical. McDonnell benefited not Williams and Star.

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  • Chuck Angel says:

    Why has the “Amgen” 500 million dollar gift from Senators Hatch, McConnell and Bachus been investigated by members of Congressional
    Ethics Committee ?

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