Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen, were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on 14 counts stemming from their acceptance of gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Virginia businessman.
Federal authorities allege that McDonnell and his wife accepted more than $US135,000 in gifts and loans from then-Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr.
In a statement, McDonnell said that he “deeply regret[ted]” accepting gifts from Williams, but rejected the notion that he did anything illegal.
“My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific. 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. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship. I never promised — and Mr. Williams and his company never received — any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration. We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”
The indictment comes just more than a week after McDonnell left office. McDonnell was once considered a rising star within the Republican Party, a potential running mate for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and a prospective 2016 presidential candidate.
Earlier in January, McDonnell apologized for the scandal during his final State of the Commonwealth address. He said he was “deeply sorry” for any pain he inflicted on the state.
Here’s the full indictment:
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