Virginians–especially lawmakers–are not putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to donating to former Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s legal defense fund.
As of Wednesday morning, McDonnell’s legal defense fund has about $2,996 in contributions from 35 donors. The donations range from $1 to $1,000 and are insufficient to cover his lawyer fees for even a day.
The Restoration Fund declared that it is dedicated to “Preserving Governor McDonnell’s Legacy” and was reportedly “established in July to bankroll the governor’s legal team,” according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, McDonnell and his wife were indicted on 14 felony counts related to public corruption. McDonnell claimed he did nothing illegal, but he and his wife face maximum prison sentences of 80 years if convicted on all the charges, in addition to at least $1.25 million in fines.
The fund sent out an e-mail after McDonnell’s indictment on Tuesday that said, “Earlier this evening Governor Bob McDonnell held an open press event to provide his first public remarks regarding today’s wrongful federal indictment against a man who has served his nation and the Commonwealth with distinction for his entire adult life.”
As the Post notes, Republican politicians in Virginia expressed that they deemed the case to be “a little bit of an overreach by the federal government” and that they did not “see the criminal act at this point.”
But Virginia State Sen. Charles J. Colgan, Sr. (D-Prince William), reflecting the sentiment of nearly all the lawmakers, may have said it best when he said he had just not gotten around to donating to the fund. “I was going to give him something,” he said.
After a judge denied a request from McDonnell’s lawyers to delay his arraignment because one of his lawyers was out of the country, McDonnell will appear in federal court in Richmond and be arraigned Friday.