RICHMOND, Va. — After more than a month of sometimes soul-baring testimony, a federal jury issued guilty verdicts on 11 counts against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, while clearing him on two others. His wife, Maureen, was convicted on nine while cleared on four. The charges involved gifts the couple received from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams. Prosecutors proved the gifts were accepted with corrupt intent.
While the guilty verdicts were reached following a five-week trial, the events that lead up to the McDonnells indictment, trial and eventual conviction stretched back several years.
In December 2009, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell and Jonnie Williams meet at a political event in New York. There, Williams offered to buy Maureen a dress for the upcoming inaugural. McDonnell’s staff eventually nixed the idea.
The following fall, in October 2010, Governor McDonnell used Williams plane to fly back from California to Richmond. During that trip Williams discussed anatabine, a compound his company, Star Scientific was developing.
Nine days later on October 12, McDonnell’s staff sent Secretary of Health Bill Hazel a press release about anatabine’s use as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The next month Hazel met with Williams, despite his skepticism about Williams’ claim.
The following April, Williams said Maureen McDonnell told him “we can go shopping now,” according to court testimony. The two flew to New York for a $20,000 shopping spree. The trip included stops at Oscar de la Renta, Louis Vuitton, and Bergdorf’s.
That night Williams sat next to Bob McDonnell at a fundraiser.
The next month, on May 23 2011, two checks are delivered, $50,000 to Maureen and $15,000 for McDonnell daughter Cailin’s June wedding. According to testimony the parties agreed, “no paperwork was necessary.”
The next week, McDonnell, his sons, and future son-in-law play golf at the Kinloch Club racking up a nearly $2,400 tab on Williams’ account.
In a June 16 letter, Williams asked Maureen about getting a study of Anatabloc, possibly with funding from the Tobacco Commission.
The next month, the McDonnell family vacations at Williams’ Smith Mountain Lake home where a Ferrari is made available and a boat is rented for the family’s use.
The day after that trip, August 1, 2011, Maureen and Williams met with a senior McDonnell Administration health policy advisor.
During that meeting, Williams again mentioned a possible study from the Tobacco Commission.
On August 13, McDonnell and son golf at Kinloch, incurring a nearly $900 tab to Williams.
That Christmas, Maureen gives Bob McDonnell an engraved Rolex watch, paid for by Williams.
Early in 2012, McDonnell and his son golf again at Kinloch, running up a $1,400 bill.
On February 29, 2012, McDonnell met privately with Williams at the Governor’s mansion to discuss an additional loan, possibly in the form of Star Scientific stock. That night a reception for Virginia healthcare leaders is held at the mansion, and Williams and several company officials are invited, despite Secretary Hazel’s insistence they NOT be invited.
Afterwards, Williams took the McDonnells to the downtown restaurant La Grotta where he picked up the $1,400 tab.
A week later, on March 6, an assistant to Williams wrote a $50,000 check, instead of stock, which the government would later say was to avoid disclosure.
On March 21, McDonnell met with the Secretary of his Administration and an assistant to discuss Anatabloc. According to testimony, he pulled out a bottle of pills out of his pocket and said the pills have been working for him.
On May 18, 2012, Williams wire transferred another $20,000 to help the McDonnells’ struggling Virginia Beach properties.
That August 31, the McDonnells vacation as Williams’ guests at the Chatham Bars Inn, a spa on Cape Cod. Researchers and McDonnell staff go as well.
Starting in November 2012 until the following March, Jonnie Williams’ brother does yard work and home repair for the McDonnells’ private home.
At the end of December, Maureen McDonnell transfered her Star Scientific stock into her five children’s accounts, which the government will later say was to avoid disclosure.
The following January, Governor McDonnell filed his Statement of Economic Interest form, where he listed a $50,000 loan for “health services” as his only liability. The only gift listed is the trip to Chatham Bars on Cape Cod.
On February 1, 2013 the McDonnells filed a new loan application.
On the 15th, investigators interviewed Maureen about the earlier $50,000 and $15,000 loans. According to investigators, she said they were personal and that paperwork existed.
Three days later, on February 18, Bob McDonnell sent an update with five handwritten pages to the bank that listed the Williams’ loans.
On March 13, 2013, Maureen gave Jonnie Williams’ brother a box that contained gifts from Williams. The gifts included dresses and a Rolex watch as well as a letter to Williams, in which she wrote she was returning gifts “like we talked about” so they could be auctioned for charity or even used by Williams’ daughter.
The government said the letter was an effort at obstruction, to disrupt the grand jury’s investigation.
The following January, the McDonnells were indicted on 14 counts. Their five-week trial began on July 28. The guilty verdicts were reached on September 4, 2014.
(The CNN Wire was used for a portion of this story)