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Bob, Maureen McDonnell found guilty on majority of corruption charges

A former rising star in the Republican Party, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was red-faced and sobbing Thursday when a jury convicted him and his wife on multiple counts related to influence peddling while he was in office.

After more than a month of sometimes soul-baring testimony, the jury issued guilty verdicts on 11 counts against McDonnell, while clearing him on two others. His wife, Maureen, was convicted on nine while cleared on four.

Bob McDonnell

Scroll down past the text and charges for updates from our CBS 6 crews outside the federal courthouse. 

The former first couple wept openly in the Richmond, Virginia, courtroom as the guilty verdicts came in.

Jury deliberations began Tuesday and lasted more than 17 hours over three days in the case that had all the elements of a soap opera: a broken marriage, alleged influence peddling and courtroom drama.

McDonnell and his wife arrived and left the courthouse separately throughout the trial in a display at the heart of their defense.

The pair pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of fraud, making false statements, and obstruction. They were indicted in January after McDonnell left office following the lone term allowed under Virginia law.

Prosecutors alleged the McDonnells accepted gifts with a combined value of at least $140,000 from Jonnie Williams, a nutritional supplement executive, in exchange for promoting his company using the power and the trappings of the governor’s office.

The gifts included designer clothes, a Rolex watch, golf clubs, iPhones and a painting, according to the indictment and evidence presented at the trial.

Their defense? The 38-year marriage was so broken that the McDonnells barely spoke to each other, let alone conspired to peddle influence in the way alleged by the government.

Todd Schneider and Lorenzo Hall

TONIGHT AT 11: Chef who brought down McDonnells dishes on Bob and Maureen

McDonnell said he didn’t commit any crime, though he acknowledged questionable judgment in accepting what he called the “personal generosity and friendship” of Williams.

Defense lawyers argued that Maureen McDonnell, seeking emotional attachment because of her loveless marriage, developed what they described as a kind of schoolgirl crush on Williams and relished the attention and gifts from him.

The question was whether she or her husband reciprocated by promoting Williams’ business in government circles.

Witnesses included some of the family’s five grown children, former staff members of the governor and others close to the state’s first family.

The McDonnells tried to get their cases separated, but lost that bid.

McDonnell and his wife face up to 30 years in prison when they are sentenced on Jan. 6.

Here are the charges and verdict, per count:

  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 1: Conspiracy to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Honest Services by Use of Interstate Wires
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 2: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($15K Wedding Check from Jonnie Williams)
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 3: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($50K MoBo Check from Jonnie Williams)
  • BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 4: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($20K MoBo Check from Jonnie Williams)
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 5: Conspiracy to Obtain Property under Color of Official Right
  • BOB , MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 6: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($50K check from Jonnie to Maureen)
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 7: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($15K check from Jonnie for wedding)
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 8: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($2,380 green fees at Kinloch Golf Club)
  • BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 9: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($1,424 green fees at Kinloch)
  • BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 10: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($50K MoBo check from Jonnie)
  • BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 11: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($20K MoBo wire transfer from Jonnie)
  • BOB NOT GUILTY — Count 12: False Statement (Bob McDonnell’s statement to Towne Bank)
  • BOB, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 13: False Statement (Bob and Maureen McDonnell’s statement to PenFed)
  • MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 14: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (Maureen McDonnell letter to Jonnie about dresses)
Nick Dutton September 4, 20147:20 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20146:11 pm

A McDonnell trial juror has posted a statement on social media.

“After six weeks of silence and many many tiring days I am finally legally able to talk about being on the jury for the trial of the VA governor and wife and as of today it is finally over. Our decision was reached today,” Robin Trujillo wrote on Facebook. “I have to say it was the hardest decision of my life. Even though the law and facts were the basis for our decisions it was so very difficult to experience the reactions of the governor and family. Just very relieved it is over.”

Nick Dutton September 4, 20145:47 pm

“As Virginia’s governor, Robert McDonnell and his wife turned public service into a money-making enterprise, abusing the Commonwealth’s highest office to benefit a Virginia businessman in exchange for more than $170,000 in gifts and loans,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “In pursuit of a lifestyle that they could ill afford, McDonnell and his wife eagerly accepted luxury items, designer clothes, free vacations and the businessman’s offer to pay the costs of their daughter’s wedding. In return, McDonnell put the weight of the governor’s mansion behind the businessman’s corporate interests. The former governor was elected to serve the people of Virginia, but his corrupt actions instead betrayed them. Today’s convictions should send a message that corruption in any form, at any level of government, will not be tolerated.”

READ MORE from a Department of Justice news release.

Alix Bryan September 4, 20144:59 pm

Alix Bryan September 4, 20144:29 pm

In January 2014 Bob McDonnell rejected a plea deal that would have spared his wife criminal charges if he plead guilty to one felony charge

The McDonnell team asserted that they did not believe the Justice Department could get a conviction against McDonnell at trial based on the evidence they had. 

Alix Bryan September 4, 20144:19 pm

The jury didn’t ask a single question to the judge, so it did come as a bit of a surprise when they announced they had reached a decision. It also became clear they were not hung because they asked no questions to the judge prior to arriving at their decision. 

Nick Dutton September 4, 20144:11 pm

Alix Bryan September 4, 20144:10 pm

Jury deliberations began Tuesday and lasted more than 17 hours over three days in the case — which had all the elements of a soap opera: a broken marriage, alleged influence peddling and courtroom drama.

Nick Dutton September 4, 20144:07 pm

Sen. Donald McEachin has issued a statement following today’s verdict:

“Today is a sad day for our Commonwealth. The jury has spoken after hearing twenty-four days’ worth of evidence. The best thing we in the legislature can do is to move forward, turning our attention to the future — and to the issues that Virginians elect us to address. We should all keep the McDonnells in our thoughts and prayers, particularly their children.”

Nick Dutton September 4, 20144:03 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20144:03 pm

Alix Bryan September 4, 20143:52 pm

Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the following statement on the verdict in the trial of Governor Bob McDonnell. 

“We have a long way to go to restore the public’s trust after this embarrassing and difficult period for the Commonwealth of Virginia. If there was somehow still any doubt, it should be crystal clear that the people of Virginia deserve real ethics reform that will turn off the spigot of gifts, tickets, and trips that opens the door to abuse and undermines public confidence in our government. That’s why on the day I was sworn in I implemented a strict gift ban and ethics policy for the Office of the Attorney General. It applies to me, my family, and employees and it says no gifts worth $25 or more, no more than $100 from any person in a year, and it doesn’t distinguish between tangible and intangible gifts. In the upcoming legislative session, I hope the General Assembly will move much closer to the gift bans that Governor McAuliffe and I have implemented.”

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:42 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:41 pm

Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell issued this statement after the verdict:

“This is a sad day for Virginia. I have known Bob McDonnell for a long time and consider him a very good friend of mine. He spent 38 years in public service and his record as Governor speaks for itself. I believe in the justice system and I am not going second guess the jury. The jury rendered its verdict and the McDonnells have an opportunity to appeal. That’s the way the system works. I am proud to call Bob McDonnell my friend and I pray for him and his family during this difficult time.”

Alix Bryan September 4, 20143:38 pm

Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement following the verdict in the public corruption case against former Governor Bob McDonnell and former First Lady Maureen McDonnell:

“I am deeply saddened by the events of the trial that ended in today’s verdict, and the impact it has had on our Commonwealth’s reputation for honesty and clean government. Dorothy and I will continue to pray for the McDonnell family and for everyone who was affected by this trial.”

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:28 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:28 pm

Alix Bryan September 4, 20143:26 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:19 pm

Bob was found guilty on 11 of 13 counts.

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:19 pm

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 1: Conspiracy to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Honest Services by Use of Interstate Wires

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 2: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($15K Wedding Check from Jonnie Williams)

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 3: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($50K MoBo Check from Jonnie Williams)

BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 4: Use of Interstate Wire Communications to Further Scheme to Defraud the Citizens of Virginia of Their Right to Honest Services ($20K MoBo Check from Jonnie Williams)

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 5: Conspiracy to Obtain Property under Color of Official Right

BOB , MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 6: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($50K check from Jonnie to Maureen)

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 7: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($15K check from Jonnie for wedding)

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 8: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($2,380 green fees at Kinloch Golf Club)

BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 9: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($1,424 green fees at Kinloch)

BOB, MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 10: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($50K MoBo check from Jonnie)

BOB GUILTY, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 11: Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right ($20K MoBo wire transfer from Jonnie)

BOB NOT GUILTY — Count 12: False Statement (Bob McDonnell’s statement to Towne Bank)

BOB, MAUREEN NOT GUILTY — Count 13: False Statement (Bob and Maureen McDonnell’s statement to PenFed)

MAUREEN GUILTY — Count 14: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (Maureen McDonnell letter to Jonnie about dresses)

Nick Dutton September 4, 20143:02 pm

Both Bob and Maureen McDonnell have been found guilty on the first three counts. 

GUILTY — Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Honest-Services Wire Fraud
GUILTY — Count 2: Honest-Services Wire Fraud
GUILTY — Count 3: Honest-Services Wire Fraud

Nick Dutton September 4, 20142:58 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20142:53 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20142:52 pm

Nick Dutton September 4, 20142:51 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2R-zRby7aw&list=UU9ha3sh4YTCSK83dH6OlWTw width=600

Nick Dutton September 4, 20142:34 pm

Scott Wise September 4, 20142:27 pm

24 comments

  • Cletus McFadden

    They must have really irritated someone in the republican machinery.
    “Let them eat cake”
    -Marie Antoinette

  • Cletus McFadden

    Governor McDonnell, you’ll be just fine. You’ve got a law degree and great hair. You’ll always be a millionaire with your inside connection. You deserve a younger wife though, know what I mean?

    • mbaker9105

      Each state is different, but I’m sure he’ll face a disbarment hearing, and if disbarred can possibly reapply later. With his high profile, he’ll probably be disbarred…..

    • guest13579

      I was gonna say — Congress accepts money and gifts all the time to vote a certain way on laws. Our whole government is run by the wealthy, the people who can pay the govt representatives enough to sway their vote. This is nothing new or groundbreaking.

  • R Moffett

    Especially being a lawyer, McDonnell can reasonably be expected to have known that his actions in the Williams matter were at the very least unseemly – any prudent person would have avoided them. To that extent he and his wife have nobody to blame for their convictions but themselves.
    That said, I suspect that a great majority of politicians in the State are likely guilty of offenses of a similar but perhaps lesser nature and the General Assembly has shown no inclination to adopt meaningful, stringent ethical reform. Shamefully, the “Virginia political way” has evolved into a “pay to play” scheme.

  • Becky

    Congratulations! Democratic Media’s two-year set up Public Assassination and now the Kill,
    with Corpses. The Political Blood Lust has been met, executed, and heads on stakes.
    There will be Dancing in the Streets! of Positively(?) Richmond!, A Street Festival! with designer
    beer and food carts. “Justice” by “impeccable” utter moral turpitude has been achieved! It is the mission, goal, objective.

    • TheRealBecky

      This has to stop! I am the real BECKY and I am NOT a lunatic. I believe that sentence structure is key to clear communication and I never use the word “impeccable”.
      By the way I do know who this fake “Becky” is. Believe is or not she has daughters (yes, she has custody of them!!).
      “Becky” you are hereby ordered to cease and desist at once. Have a lovely weekend.

    • TheRealBecky

      This has to stop! I am the real BECKY and I am NOT a lunatic. I believe that sentence structure is the key to clear communication and I never use the word “impeccable”.
      By the way I do know who this fake “Becky” is. Believe it or not she has daughters (yes, she has custody of them!!).
      “Becky” you are hereby ordered to cease and desist at once. Have a lovely weekend.

  • mbaker9105

    Hey Governor Felon, Sic Semper Tyrannis…..it’s right there on the State Flag stupid…..you must have passed it 50 times a day….cheaparses, all for that chump change. Red flags right and left….people in the administration telling them, distancing themselves, and the Universities even realizing how inappropriate, unethical, and possible illegal it all was. They shouldn’t have started messing with that Chef. If anything, maybe that state jumping, stepping stone using, Clinton buddy the people elected will watch his step for sure. But he has bigger and better friends in higher places who know how to “properly” do things like this and cover him, he’s just here to move on up. Couldn’t care less about this state. And the Legislature just needs to flat out ban any type of gifts, “loans”, etc. from people attempting to get access. The only smart one was Williams, he new he held the ace in the hole to get off scot free, and used it. Can’t blame him for trying. All just crooked. As the saying goes, Gov McDontknowwhatthehelltodonow was acting “a little too big for his britches” :)

    • mbaker9105

      Just heard he faces 30 years. He’ll probably get Petersburg http://www.bop.gov/locations/institutions/pet/index.jsp, it’s mid atlantic region low security, and keeps him in Virginia near family, etc. Not sure if everyone has been by there, you can see it from I-295, and take a road off route 36 through the Fort Lee paradrop zone. Doesn’t look like it’s that hardcore, but doesn’t look fun either. Not sure if he has to go straghtaway after sentencing, I think they can request he remain free pending appeal, but I think that will be turned down, and He’ll have to sit in lockup during the appeal. Keep him out and they could probably delay it for years. I’d sentence her to some mental health treatment and make her live in a trailer with a TV with a converter box, no luxuries at all, and pick up trash on the highways, and work with the disabled and elderly, get her Princess mindset right again…

  • Steel Mill

    Was Justice served? Or were the McDonnell’s scapegoats?
    Seems based on this if the Feds looked at our politicians they could find more. Eric Cantor for example.
    Is Virginia’s laws loose or is the Commonwealth corrupt? Accodring to the RTD, this was nothing more than business as usual….they would know.

  • Doug

    The McDonnells did a lot of good for us, nonetheless. They need to IMPEACH OBAMA, but it seems they never will.
    We all should watch Alex Jones also and better start listening before it is too late.

  • joey

    I can guarantee that if this was the Obamas instead of the McDonnells, you would see plenty of comments from sammy, manalishi and b addy, robbie, and the other lunatics.

  • John

    The entire system is loaded with corruption. Almost every politician receives gifts in the form of vacations, sports tickets, limo rides, etc. The gift givers are expecting something in return. It’s time for the FBI to do a dragnet operation and prosecute tons of politicians at once. The system needs a major wake up call. The ordinary citizens can’t do it other than to vote one crook out to put another crook in office.

  • John

    The media is not much of a watch dog either. They don’t ask probing questions. They sit down with politicians and have chit-chats like their buddies. The reporters don’t want to be confrontational because they don’t want to be locked out of the political network. They see themselves as self preservationist for a long career.

  • John

    Many of the media reporters are associated with one political party or the other. They are known for a reputation of going after liberals or going after conservatives. Therefore, the political people know what reporters to avoid.

  • Doug

    Let’s see, the cost of 1 trip for Michelle Obama on Air Force One equals what the McDonnell’s took.
    We need to start with the White House.

  • Dagny

    heh! Try all of ‘em on Hobb’s, or whatever it is, statute…they’ll all fail just as miserably….my hopes are completely dashed! …there’s a VERY VERY VERRRRY bigger picture here, peeps! …doubtful MOST realize it …On that note–Econ101…the rich get richer yeah yah but with capitalism, there’s such ‘o thing as trickle down—EVERYONE benefits…with trending Socialism (look at it!)…rich gets richer, of course, and the poorer gets even more poorer…POF=Point of Fact…I’d rather work for a rich boss

  • Russell Davis

    Regarding Bob McDonnell’s fall:

    As much as Federal jurisdiction over Bob McDonnell’s crimes relies on
    18 U.S. Code § 1343 ‘interstate commerce’, 18 U.S. Code § 1341 ‘s US Mail, a federal office or federal money
    the appeals court may have to declare a mistrial and transfer the retrial to a Virginia court of competent jurisdiction.

    Virginia’s ethics statutes are plenty strong. Our problem is not with our statutes.

    In VA, under VA18.2-111, when a person receives a gift or ANYTHING
    from someone other than their employer that they received by virtue of their holding an office
    belonging to their employer then that thing received belongs to their office not to their person,
    If the receiver converts the ‘gift’ to their personal property then they have, according to VA statute,
    perpetrated embezzlement and larceny.
    Custom does not make it less of a felony –
    Regarding criminal intent: Bob McDonnell knew the law and
    knew that he was deemed to know the law by the law –
    as are ALL officers or the VA Supreme Court (i.e. lawyers).
    Bob McDonnell’s conclusively evidenced in public record root felony
    is a presumption that he is so important that
    “Resisting the execution of the laws under the color of its authority” [VA18.2-481(5) Statutory Treason]
    is his prerogative and is the prerogative of all people of his class.

    The problem is that Virginia’s Judges & Commonwealth Attorneys
    have made grand juries ineffective contrary to duly authorized law.
    No complaint of criminal conduct can be brought to a grand jury by any just MERE citizen.
    That raises the in-crowd above the reach of the law.
    And it turns YOU into a mere chattle ruled by the ‘Uniform Commercial Code’ and mere presumption when ever it is convenient.

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