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Richmond,Va. – The Washington Beltway is all abuzz with news of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife being found guilty on multiple counts of corruption. Mr. McDonnell was found guilty this afternoon on 11 corruption charges; his wife, Maureen, was found guilty on nine.
Today’s verdict closes the door on the political future of McDonnell, who was on the short list for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
According to a CNN interview of U.S. Attorney Dana Boente, who was the lead prosecutor for the State of Virginia, today’s verdict will be a warning to those thinking the governor’s office is not for sale:
This is a difficult, disappointing day for the Commonwealth. When public officials turn to financial gain for official actions, we have little choice but to prosecute the case.
The McDonnell’s troubles began more than a year ago when rumors surfaced about him trading the power of his office for thousands of gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., an executive at dietary supplement company Star Scientific. The original indictment charged Gov. McDonnell with giving special treatment, which McDonnell explained as doing nothing more than what he would have done for anyone else.
The jury had only deliberated two days before returning verdicts that could put the former governor and his wife in prison for decades, if they are sentenced to the maximum and fail on appeal.
As Governor McDonnell faced media waiting in front of the court house, instead looking contrite, McDonnell and his wife were all smiles, as if they had been vindicated. When asked by a reporter what he thought about their verdicts, the former governor said that he trusts in God.
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