October Festival Guide

McDonnell Trial Week One: ‘I just felt the earth move and I wasn’t having sex,’ Maureen emailed after historic quake

RICHMOND, Va. — The federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, is underway in at the Federal Courthouse in Richmond.

Scroll down for updates from the proceedings from CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George. [Click here to follow Joe on Twitter]

Joe St. George August 1, 20148:41 pm

My thoughts for the week?

This jury of 8 men and 4 women have a lot to think about….I believe final jury instructions from Judge Spencer (whenever that will happen) will be very important. I think Jessica Aber for the prosecution delivered a very strong opening statement and that the government delivered very strong witness testimony from a believable Jonnie Williams with Michael Dry doing the questioning. Williams is charming on the stand — making the courtroom laugh on several occasions. I think William Burck (the attorney for Mrs. McDonnell) however really got to Jonnie Williams Friday as he attempted to undermine his credibility. Meanwhile, Hank Asbill (one of Bob’s lawyers) showed the jury that Bob really didn’t know all that Maureen was doing. All in all some great legal minds doing battle on the 7th floor of Richmond federal court. I encourage interested Virginians to check it out (just don’t take my seat lol). After week one we just don’t know how this thing will turn out. Although my gut tells me this may be over sooner than expected….after all once Jonnie leaves the stand how many more days of government witnesses will there really be?

Between the cognac, the Ferrari, the rolex, the jets, and the emails about earthquakes — there is a lot more than what was laid out in the orginial indictment. Also this is more “soap opera like” than originally thought. But remember — we are still in the government’s side of this case. Who knows what will be presented once the defense takes over.

Until next week.

JSG

Nick Dutton August 1, 20147:12 pm

Here’s Joe St. George’s recap of day five of the McDonnell trial. Be sure to follow his Twitter updates. And check back next week for more LIVE updates from the trial.

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Here’s Shelby Brown update from CBS 6 News at Noon as the defense continues its cross examination of former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

Joe St. George August 1, 20141:04 pm
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Point of these last posts???? Defense wants to show Jonnie and Maureen were closer than Jonnie has said

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Nick Dutton August 1, 201411:24 am

Here’s another shot of the Rolex watch. [See more photos]


Joe St. George August 1, 201411:23 am

It appears as though this rolex pic was sent to Jonnie in 2012 on Christmas…a year after he got it.

Nick Dutton August 1, 201411:18 am

Joe St. George August 1, 201411:17 am

The striking image of the morning is simple…..jonnie is not recalling much today — as compared to yesterday when he had hardly any problems recalling specific detail.

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Feel free to ask me questions on twitter…great ones so far today

Joe St. George July 31, 20143:06 pm

A short break….a juror had a coughing attack….#mcdonnelltrial.

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Jake Burns July 31, 201412:45 pm

WATCH: Jake Burns Noon Update

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Scott Wise July 31, 201411:52 am

Joe and Jake filed this report during a break in the trial Thursday morning.

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Joe St. George July 31, 201410:43 am

Valued at $6-7 grand. Ingraved with “Robert F. McDonnell, 71st Governor of Virginia.” Jury just passed it around, examining it.

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:41 am

He dropped it while walking it over to Jonnie, and joked “It still works!”

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:41 am

Michael Dry just brought out the Rolex in court!

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:40 am

During a personal meeting that same day, Maureen noticed JW’s Rolex watch. Said she’d like to get one for the Gov. JW bought one for him.

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:39 am

Told Mauren: “he gets studies done.”

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:39 am

Jonnie said he made a personal call from Maureen’s office to a doctor at VCU Med Center. Requested he come to Gov Mansion to discuss VA Study.

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JW said he never bought Kilgore any “gifts” (like a Rolex watch) during his run for Governor in 2005; even though JW claims they were friends from a while back.

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:20 am

JW hired former AG Jerry Kilgore to assist with grant applications.

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:20 am

JW: Gov. told him it was a good idea to use funding from VA Tobacco Commission to fund “VA Study.”

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:19 am

In a letter to Gov. Williams suggested “protocol” for the “VA study,” which would be human and animal trials conducted at VCU and UVA Med Centers. Needed the “creditability” of these universities to help Antabloc.

Joe St. George July 31, 201410:17 am

Maureen asked JW about the success of Star stock on flight back from FLA trip. She told JW she bought stock in Star with money he had loaned her. JW told her it was a “risky investment” and told her to sell it.

Scott Wise July 31, 201410:16 am

Joe St. George filed this report before heading into court.

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Nick Dutton July 30, 20148:14 pm

Here’s uncut video as Jonnie Williams left the courthouse Wednesday afternoon. Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete and in-depth coverage of the trial.

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https://twitter.com/JoeStGeorge/status/494594551365902337

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Joe St. George July 30, 20144:33 pm

Jonnie Williams is taking the stand

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The next witness is not Jonnie…it is Major Mark Sykes with the Capitol Police

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Bobby McDonnell is taking the stand

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A juror has fallen ill in the McDonnell trial…we are in a break and do not know how long it will last.

Joe St. George July 30, 20142:33 pm

Back from lunch

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A very important clarification! Jerri Fulkerson said she still works for Jonnie Williams. It has been previously reported she was a former assistant

Joe St. George July 30, 20141:01 pm

Look for the pointing of finger to Mary Shea Sutherland from Maureen McDonnell’s lawyers more in this case.

Joe St. George July 30, 20141:01 pm

Maureen McDonnell attorneys just finished questioning Jerri. Pointed to the fact Jonnie met alot with Maureen’s Chief of Staff or assistant as they referred to her.

Scott Wise July 30, 201412:54 pm

Jake Burns reports on CBS 6 News at Noon.

Joe St. George July 30, 201412:40 pm
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The judge has released photos, emails and receipts used as evidence in this case.  See them here.

Joe St. George July 30, 201412:39 pm

Point of this? To prove McDonnells did things other politicians did but somehow they are being tried.

Joe St. George July 30, 201412:38 pm

Fulkerson testifies Cuccinelli got private plan trips, Smith Mountain Lake Vacations too. She testifies Cuccinelli’s mother in law even got Jonnie’s supplements sent to her.

Joe St. George July 30, 201412:37 pm

Ken Cuccinelli has been brought up folks.

Joe St. George July 30, 201412:05 pm

McDonnell attorneys are trying to undermine Jerri Fulkerson’s testimony saying she 1) Got a 20K bonus after investigation began 2) Improperly notarized items 3) Got immunity for her testimony

Scott Wise July 30, 201412:02 pm

Joe St. George and Jake Burns discuss Thursday morning’s testimony during the McDonnell corruption trial.

Joe St. George July 30, 201411:41 am

Correction previous post should say Prosecution is now done with Jerri

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It doesn’t appear that this witness will be done testifying anytime soon. Usually there is a break at 11:30

Joe St. George July 30, 201411:10 am

Fulkerson also testified that Rachel received a land rover or a ranger rover to drive around Smith Mountain Lake while on a family vacation

Joe St. George July 30, 201411:09 am

She did get Ritz Carlton Beach Club passes though and Jonnie picked her up from the airport.

Joe St. George July 30, 201411:09 am

Fulkerson testifies Rachel asked for Jonnie’s private plane to fly her and her girlfriend to Florida for a weekend. She never got that and had to fly commercial.

Joe St. George July 30, 201411:08 am

We have shifted the focus to Rachel McDonnell

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Perhaps the most dramatic was when their was a request to fly in a private plane the twin boys to pick up sister Jeanine and then fly them to the homestead

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Jerri Fulkerson continues on the stand….David Harbach is discussing how many times she recieved emails from McDonnell employees asking for things

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Attorneys appear to be going into judge’s chambers…..what could this be about?

Joe St. George July 30, 20149:36 am

Heading in…Jonnie’s assistant continues her testimony

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We have not started yet….Bob McDonnell is like first in line to get into court — Maureen is in the middle. Bob McDonnell’s attorneys are in the back sitting on a bench with their suit jackouts off

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Just to clarify I am updating from the courthouse and not the courtroom — apparently the clerk thought I was — glad they are following!

Nick Dutton July 29, 201411:56 pm

Here’s our recap on the stunning developments from day two of the McDonnell trial.

Joe St. George says the trial resumes Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. with testimony continuing from Williams’ assistant.

Joe St. George will be in the courtroom.

Joe St. George July 29, 20148:11 pm

This tweet just came in from a former McDonnell aide https://twitter.com/vancla4/status/494187336268517376

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Faulkerson (spelling may need to be checked) was Jonnie Williams personal assistant. She was given immunity for testimony 

Joe St. George July 29, 20146:14 pm

Jerri Faulkerson Will continue testimony her testimony tomorrow at 930am

Joe St. George July 29, 20146:13 pm

Nick Dutton July 29, 20145:44 pm

Here’s Joe St. George’s report from CBS 6 News at 5 p.m. 

Joe St. George July 29, 20144:46 pm

Be sure to watch CBS 6 news at 5 this evening…..we will have the latest details. I will be live at 6 with analysis.

Joe St. George July 29, 20144:41 pm

Lost in all of this — Mitt Romney and Anne Romney were interviewed by prosecutors for this case

Joe St. George July 29, 20144:40 pm

clearly the government is starting with the wedding…..and we will go from there in this marathon trial that will last 4 weeks at least

Joe St. George July 29, 20144:33 pm

cailin has been excused. We are now in a 15 minute break in the action. so far for today two witnesses….all opening statements…a marriage bombshell

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:35 pm

cailin admitted to not paying for wedding rings, party favors, catering contract (jonnie did that). She said she got a wedding dress for just 43 dollars.

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:34 pm

point aber was trying to make was that cailin paid very little for her wedding

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:34 pm

Chris – Cailin’s husband – looked very concerned outside courtroom when I told her she broke down.

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:33 pm

jessica aber was the prosecutor grilling her

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:33 pm

No real catalyst to her tears other than wedding photos

Joe St. George July 29, 20143:33 pm

Cailin McDonnell breaks down on witness stand

Scott Wise July 29, 20143:11 pm

Joe St. George interviews CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth about this… interesting… day in Virginia political history.

Joe St. George July 29, 20142:35 pm

David Harbach starts the questioning for the government….he is asking Ryan Greer (the first witness) questions about the catering contract for McDonnell daughter wedding

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Bob McDonnell admits to a “dysfunctional” marriage. Says Williams “poisoned” it 

Scott Wise July 29, 201412:33 pm

Joe St. George reports lawyers for Maureen McDonnell’s claim her relationship with donor Jonnie Williams was inappropriate.

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:20 pm

Jessica aber delivered opening statements for govt. William Burck for Maureen 

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:18 pm

Prosecution for their part showed evidence of pictures of bob McDonnell driving a Ferrari and text messages of him asking Jonnie Williams for 20k 

Scott Wise July 29, 201412:17 pm

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Jake Burns provides a live update outside court on CBS 6 News at Noon.

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:16 pm

Maureen lawyers said her and Jonnie would have frequent meetings upstairs in the governors mansion 

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:15 pm

Just finished a video update. Will post soon 

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:15 pm

So in short Maureen lawyers are trying to say Jonnie was their when bob wasn’t and that Jonnie manipulated her 

Joe St. George July 29, 201412:14 pm

Wow what a morning 

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Joe St. George July 29, 201410:33 am

Updates on twitter too @joestgeorge 

Joe St. George July 29, 201410:32 am

There will be three opening statements shortly

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One witness is sitting in court – judge says that is fine for now 

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Joe St. George July 29, 20149:15 am

My colleague Jake Burns has arrival video of Bob McDonnell

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Bob McDonnell said he “ready to present defense and truth in court today”

Joe St. George July 29, 20148:06 am

Good morning! 8 men and four women on the jury will listen to opening statements today 

Joe St. George July 28, 201410:52 pm

Goodnight! -JSG

Joe St. George July 28, 201410:52 pm

If you are wondering – 8 men and 4 women compose the jury

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Joe St. George July 28, 20147:24 pm

Trial resumes tomorrow at 10AM

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The former first couple left separately  again. Bob McDonnell thanked supporters and laughed when I asked him what was harder to get done transportation or jury selection. He said “that’s a good question” 

Joe St. George July 28, 20146:54 pm

A jury has been selected. There will be just 3 alternates after one sitting juror backed out after being sworn in. 

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Joe St. George July 28, 20144:59 pm

12 Jurors now being placed in box for further scrutiny. Judge survey questions have ended 

Joe St. George July 28, 20144:38 pm

Lorenzo Hall will anchor from federal court at 5….I will join live at 6. I can’t leave courtroom for the 5pm hit.

Joe St. George July 28, 20144:37 pm

Got a question for me? Tweet me @joestgeorge

Joe St. George July 28, 20144:36 pm

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Jurors are slowing starting to be dismissed….

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Walk of shame right now in federal court. Any potential juror with a criminal record has to tell the judge 

Joe St. George July 28, 20142:38 pm

Robert Skunda served as Secretary of Commerce under George Allen. Amy Bridge was Mansion Director under Mark Warner and Tim Kaine

Joe St. George July 28, 20142:33 pm

McDonnells file motion to exclude two witnesses saying they should be considered expert witnesses and that the government should of disclosed them earlier.

Joe St. George July 28, 20142:28 pm

A few questions that have been asked since lunch:

Do any of the potential jurors have any training or expertise in stock brokerage?

Have any of the potential jurors or their family members run for or held elected office?

Have any of the potential jurors worked at a job where they were required to file a financial statement? 

Have any of the potential jurors filed a claim or dispute against the Commonwealth of Virginia? 

Joe St. George July 28, 20142:14 pm

We are back from lunch—questions continue to jury

Joe St. George July 28, 20141:02 pm

Jurors will get a free lunch on second floor 

Joe St. George July 28, 20141:02 pm

“I am not even close to being done” – Judge James Spencer 

Joe St. George July 28, 20141:01 pm

Lunch break is here. 

Joe St. George July 28, 20141:01 pm

McDonnells to present 208 exhibits including emails, text and photos.

Joe St. George July 28, 201412:48 pm

Questions have included if they have law enforcement or state government experience

Joe St. George July 28, 201412:47 pm

The process going on right now is simple: judge is re-asking potential jurors all the questions they filled out on survey.

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We have our first sleeper. Man has been passed out for about 15 minutes in the second row of the overflow room. Catch those zzzzs man! 

Joe St. George July 28, 201412:02 pm

Very interesting. One of the question for potential jurors is if they have any accounting experience. Clearly financials a big part of this case 

Joe St. George July 28, 201411:42 am

Big news: Doug Wilder – former governor – is a potential witness as is Ken Cuccinelli 

Joe St. George July 28, 201411:31 am

One potential juror said he took a picture of McDonnell a few weeks ago…potential juror said he could still be fair. Judge allowed him to remain in the pool.

Joe St. George July 28, 201411:28 am

Jurors had to answer these questions: 

1. Have you ever been represented by McDonnell’s lawyers or their firms?

2. Do you know the McDonnells personally or are you related?

3. Have you ever been represented by the government’s lawyers?

4. Do you know any of the potential witnesses? 

Joe St. George July 28, 201411:22 am

Trial began at 10:30am. Judge James Spencer presiding.

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:47 am

Former Williams assistant ordered to testify, but testimony cannot be used against her in any way according to Monday morning order.

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:39 am

Former executive chef Todd Schneider is not on the government’s witness list.

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:29 am

US to call 61 witnesses, including Jonnie Williams, have 615 exhibits for the jury.

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:20 am

I will update you in a bit, I am heading into court now.

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:18 am

DC had a book come out a year ago called This Town. This is Richmond’s version of that for the next six weeks. 

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:16 am

Expect lunch around 1pm 

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:16 am

Some potential jurors look nervous….others excited 

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:13 am

Courtroom will be on the 7th floor 

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Joe St. George July 28, 20149:08 am

The family priest has arrived…Fr. Wayne from St. Patricks and St. John’s 

Joe St. George July 28, 20149:07 am

Maureen arrives separately for the third straight time 

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Joe St. George July 28, 20148:49 am

Reporters are able to have a phone and a laptop….but they are not permitted in actual courtroom…separate media room has been set up 

Joe St. George July 28, 20148:43 am

I am inside the media room in federal court….so far connection to wifi is reporters biggest complaint 

Scott Wise July 28, 20147:54 am

Nick Dutton July 28, 201412:40 am

HOLMBERG: Historic trial of former Governor McDonnell will have historic judge

31 comments

  • Robbie

    I sure hope they allow laptops at the defense table. Ms. Beverley Hills needs to shop for clothes and jewelry and Gov Slime needs to move some pay off money around in his accounts.

  • 6Spazcat

    So does this make Maureen a prostitute, turning tricks for expensive gifts? What kind of services did Bob provide for his watch? Perhaps a sexual act that Ken Cuccinelli deems immoral? Hmm, didn’t Kenny get some expensive gifts too?

  • mbaker9105

    Lawyer tactics, mutually agreed upon….what they are attempting to do is convolute the issue, arriving in separate cars, different lawyers, both admitting to an “inappropriate relationship” and a “dysfunctional marriage”, etc. The end tactic being that she is guilty of no more than possibly getting involved with someone whom she didn’t realize had other objectives, and the Gov is the “oh shucks” guy who he previously stated Williams was a “great friend” even though they never met until just before or after the election, and thought “what a friend helping me in a time of need”, and thought friends always let your use their jets and helped you out of financial situations, the least you can do is grease the wheels a little bit by introducing him around some, so he’s a victim also. Whether the jury can see though this obvious tactic is the question, but I’m sure the prosecutor should be able to sum that up quite well in closing arguments….that’s where the wire fraud and possible obstruction comes in……possibly moving the money around in such a manner as it’s obvious that there was an attempt to, at the very least, conceal the transactions for tax purposes?……Not a bad tactic though….

    • edrebber

      Trying to use one transgression to negate another transgression will backfire and taint any exculpatory testimony or evidence as unreliable. The smoking gun is the text message from McDonnell to Williams asking for a loan, because the most serious charge is not reporting the loan from Williams on another loan application. That charge has a maximum 30 year sentence and it’s a slam dunk for the prosecution since McDonnell admitted it was a loan. There are 13 charges each against the McDonnell’s that all carry serious jail time. They are going to jail.

  • Hang 10

    I feel sorry for both of them.
    I was and am not a fan of either, however, to have your laundry hung out like this… would not wish that on anyone.

    • Sam

      Remember that they chose to have a life in the public view. The bad and ugly must be taken with the good.

  • Robbie

    Like all good Republicans, it appears Bobby is throwing his no so conservative wife under the bus. Hopefully she will tell the truth if she hasn’t been paid off to take the rap. My moneys on the payoff.

  • Gail

    Gotta love it!!! Their greed gets them in trouble & they blames someone else. All parties were greedy & the McDonnell’s are just mad because the man involved was greedier than they were & knew how to manipulate people better than they do. They love to manipulate others yet when they were the ones being manipulated & used they didn’t like it!!!

  • Robbie

    It’s the law of mathematics here. A “dysfunctional marriage” plus a dysfunctional 4 years in office equal Bob McDonnell. Class dismissed!

  • lo

    Wonder what type of strictly business relationship Johnny had with the son, Bobby,
    and what professional advantages he hoped to gain with his gifted golf clubs to him..
    The “Impeccable Star Witnesses” Johnny Williams and Assistant got a much bigger and better “corrupt deals, pay offs and bennies” from their DoInjustice Feds coconspirators..

  • lo

    If you BUY your witnesses, there is absolutely no risks for those witnesses, you can pretty much
    get them to say, do and be whatever you ask and want. Set up to suit seems to be the Democratic
    Way.

  • Bart Mitchell

    What ever happened to the $ 800,000 tax bill for the warehouses that Jonnie was trying to classify as Tobacco Warehouses but were really used to store his drugs and a lower tax rate on the real estate mirage.. I believe the AG, Ken Coucinilli , was involved with this which started this Drama of power and influence peadling………

  • Luquaan West-Bey

    This ole playa broke da code if you spendin paper like dat u got to beat dem cakes up on da regular. If I drop stacks best believes she gettin her back blown out.

  • See

    Wouldn’t be Goverenment/MediaPravda, Inc. without going for the Sensationalized Crapola to feed the flock and
    incite their desired results. “Star Reports” think this will catapult them to greater heights and the stations hope for
    higher ratings to produce their standard, rotational awards given yearly..for “Excellence”
    Go for the Hot Stuff and the Hot Cars and Not the transparent Facts that Impeccable “Star” Witness is LYING his
    butt off to save his butt. The Impeccable Feds, according to their DoInjustice System uses any tactic, measure,
    trick in the pre-determined, set up, orchestrated, choreograph targeted, droned, bombarded Attack, Take Down,
    Assault, Character Assassination, and Destruction of a Political Opponent. Transparency IS ozzing out but it
    IS PC to ignore PC LYING with all out Corruption.

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