Ex-Virginia Gov. McDonnell, Wife Charged With Corruption

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife were indicted Tuesday on federal corruption charges.

McDonnell, and his wife, Maureen, were charged with 14 counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges.

McDonnell left office earlier this month after completing his term in office. Virginia law limits its governors to a single term.

The Associated Press reports:

“A federal investigation overshadowed the final months in office for this once-rising star of the Republican Party, with authorities looking into gifts he and his family received from a political donor.

“In July, McDonnell apologized and said he had returned more than $120,000 in loans and other gifts from Johnnie Williams, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Star Scientific.”

The Washington Post reports that authorities allege that the McDonnells received gifts from Williams “again and again, lodging near constant requests for money, clothes, trips, golf accessories and private plane rides.

“In exchange, authorities alleged that the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governorship to Williams’s struggling company, a small former cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.”

In a statement cited by the Post, McDonnell denied he had broken the law.

“I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility,” he said. “However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship.”

NPR’s Liz Halloran reported last year that before the scandal that engulfed his final months in office, McDonnell was seen as a hot Republican prospect, “ranked among the nation’s most respected state leaders, and was touted as prime vice presidential material.”

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