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McDonnell calls indictment ‘unjust overreach of federal government’

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, with his wife, daughter and son-in-law by his side, Tuesday maintained that he and his family did nothing illegal by accepting gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

“While I deeply regret accepting these legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of these now have been returned or repaid with interest.”

Reading from a prepared statement, McDonnell once again apologized for using “poor judgment” when he accepted “legal gifts and loans,” but said his public service has been wrongfully attacked.

“However, I repeat again emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal friendship and his generosity,” McDonnell said. “I never promised — and Mr. Williams and his company — never received any government benefit from any kind from me or my administration.”

Earlier today McDonnell and his wife were indicted in connection to their relationship with political donor Williams, a decision that the Washington Post said was delayed after McDonnell’s lawyers appealed to Justice Department officials.

“Star Scientific themselves publically confirmed just last spring that it never sought nor received any special benefits from any public official,” McDonnell said Tuesday.

“The federal government’s case rests entirely on a misguided legal theory, and that is that facilitating an introduction or a meeting, appearing at a reception or expressing support for a Virginia business is a serious federal crime if it involves a political donor or somebody who gave an official a gift,” McDonnell continued.

“The United States Supreme Court has already rejected this radical idea, and for good reason, because if it were applied as the law of the land, then nearly every elected official from President Obama on down would have to be charged for providing tangible benefits to donors,” McDonnell said.

“My administration provided Mr. Williams the same routine courtesies and access to state government that I and every other governor before me afforded to thousands of individuals, companies and charities and other organizations whether they were donors or not,” McDonnell said.

“No other elected official has been successfully prosecuted for such conduct, yet federal officials in Washington, in their zeal to find a basis for charging Maureen and me, have decided to stretch the law to the breaking point in this case.”

Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the latest on this developing story. 

24 comments

  • Clay Morrow

    I bet he asks us to pray for him. Makes me sick that our tax dollars will go to his defense lawyers. They should do us all a favor, and plead it out. Serve a year at “Club Fed” and then disappear.

    • athynz

      Well maybe the federal government should not have wasted taxpayer money to indict him for something that was not illegal to begin with. Come on dude, use some common sense here. It was a poor judgment call and everything was returned or paid back with interest – which BTW is something a liberal progressive democrat in the same situation would not do.

      • athynz

        Carolyn you must be a liberal progressive – because you managed to put words into my post that I did not say. Nor did you offer any sort of real rebuttal to my post – so rather than say I’m wrong or prove me wrong you decide to badmouth McDonnell. That’s fine, because 1) he did screw up and 2) it shows how scared of him you liberal progressives still are.

  • airjackie

    The truth would be much easier but the Governor only admitted the truth as evidence presented itself. Cuccinelli and McDonnell did the same thing but Ken quickly gave the few gifts back as the Governor passed it off on his wife. If FBI Director Mueller were still in office this might not have been a charge. But the new FBI Director follows the oath he took. Virginians have a short time to deal with these headlines as NJ Governor Christie just had his office raided by the FBI to collect all the Sandy funding documents. I just wish Governor McConnell had told the truth to the FBI and likely been given a light sentence.

    • Manalishi

      Almost, but not quite. partisan politics has been the trump card so far and likely will not change. When Terry is led away in cuffs, i will believe it.

    • athynz

      Here’s the issue – what McDonnell did was NOT – I repeat NOT illegal. Unethical yes, chock full of poor judgment yes, but not illegal. And the money was repaid with interest and the gifts returned. And his career is over and done with. That should have been the end of it and yet our federal government is using taxpayer money to indict him. Why is Obama and/or the Democratic party so scared?

    • athynz

      Again – for the slow class – what McDonnell did is not illegal according to Virginia State law. It was unethical or at least it gave that impression. It was a very poor judgment call. It was not illegal. And – also again for the slow class – robbing a bank is illegal. So in essence your analogy is flawed.

  • Blackbeered

    Payback time courtesy of O’Bama’s grunt, Holder.

    There’s one tube of lipstick for each of the 43 pages in the indictment.

    Would anyone be surprised to learn that 85% of the Grand Jury were “of color”?

  • athynz

    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.

    • Jam Klick

      State law has nothing to do with it. He broke federal law according to the indictment.

      McDonnell’s career isn’t over, not by a long shot. There’s always a place in politics for opportunist scumbags.

      • athynz

        True – they can become the Attorney General or President of the US – case in point are the 2 men currently filling those positions. My question is this – WHY is the federal government getting involved with this? WHY are the democrats so scared of this man?

  • Romaine Cheney

    Wrong is wrong. Not sure I’d have pursued this if I were the federal government, especially considering it seems the evidence points mostly to his wife receiving much of the “gifts” instead of him. But I suspect he knew more than he’d have one believe.

  • XYZ

    Seems this was and is a paid Political Attack by the Correct Party.
    Let’s see: Federally attacked Wisconsin Governor, Arizona Governor,
    New Jersey Governor, and Virginia Governor.
    Problems arise when The Correct Party is never able to Stand Up
    and FACE it’s own corruption and collusion at local, state, and
    especially Federal Levels. Ceremoniously, they run, hide, escape,
    evade, and hide under the covers that Party & their Media put in place
    so that fair, equal, investigations and prosecutions “Can’t Touch Dis!”
    The Party won’t disclose how much the Chef cost them or the
    Richmond Democratic Top Prosecutors “Investigation” or the FBI’s
    Investigations costs Tax Payers.
    When FAIR & EQUAL is seen within the Democratic Party Echelons
    I may believe in Justice that hasn’t been specifically TARGETED
    at their Party opponents and conducted in their own bought Media..

  • gary

    I guess Eric Holder’s next investigation will be Moochelle’s 50th Birthday Party paid for by Oprah. A very good friend of the family, who is getting nothing in return from the Obama’s. Somehow this is different and totally ethical.

    • athynz

      That’s right – according to the liberal progressives it’s OKAY for Obama to accept gifts but not okay for McDonnell. WHY?

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