On Tuesday, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, once considered a Republican presidential hopeful, was indicted along with his wife by federal authorities for illegally receiving gifts. A Virginia businessman seeking to do commerce with the state, Jonnie R. Williams, gave the couple cash, clothes, luxury vacations, golf clubs, and private plane rides, as well as loans. The McDonnells, according to federal authorities, then attempted to push Williams’ dietary supplement company, Star Supplement. Star Supplement did not get any state business, and those working at Star were not appointed to any state offices.
Overall, the feds charged McDonnell and his wife with 14 felony counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, obtaining property under color of official office, lying to a federal credit union, lying to a financial institution, and obstruction of justice.
McDonnell’s attorney released a statement in which McDonnell apologized for accepting “legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest,” but denied any legal wrongdoing. The lawyer called the allegations “false” and said the McDonnells would fight “against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”
For months, rumors have swirled about McDonnell’s possible indictment. In July, McDonnell repaid a $50,000 loan from Williams to his wife, as well as another $7,000 loan made to McDonnell’s small business. Originally, McDonnell came under suspicion after an anonymous tip to federal authorities that McDonnell’s chef at the governor’s mansion was stealing food. That bloomed into an investigation about McDonnell accepting payment for his daughter’s catering bill from Williams. Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli, who recently lost a gubernatorial race to now-governor Terry McAuliffe, initiated an investigation into McDonnell’s annual financials.
Breitbart has repeatedly reported on the crony capitalism within the McDonnell administration. Tony Lee wrote just two weeks ago:
Just as the crony capitalism of the GOP in Congress hurt national Republicans before the 2006 elections and may have created the environment that helped get Barack Obama elected as president, McDonnell’s fall has hurt other Virginia Republicans as well. His ethics scandal put a cloud over the gubernatorial campaign of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who was also tied to the Star Scientific scandal and could not bash Terry McAuliffe, who won the election, for his lifetime of crony capitalism.