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McDonnell: I Did Nothing Illegal, Case Is Flawed

From the Washington Post (of all places):

McDonnell: ‘I repeat again, emphatically, that I did nothing illegal’

By Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind Helderman | January 21, 2014

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell reacted Tuesday night to charges that he and his wife had improperly accepted gifts from a Virginia businessman, saying they were “false allegations.”

“I repeat again, emphatically, that I did nothing illegal” for Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the now-former chief executive of a Virginia nutritional supplement company, McDonnell said at a news conference in the lobby of his attorney’s office in Richmond…

He also argued that the case against him was an example of overreach by the federal government, based on a flawed legal argument.

“The federal government’s case rests entirely on a misguided legal theory: that facilitating an introduction or meeting, appearing at a reception or expressing support for a Virginia business is a serious federal crime if it involves a political donor or someone who gave a gift,” said McDonnell (R).

He went on to say that the U.S. Supreme Court had “rejected this radical idea and for good reason because if it were applied as the law of the land then nearly every elected official, from President Obama on down, would have to be charged with providing tangible benefits to donors.”

He said he had provided Williams “the same routine courtesies and access to state government that I and every other governor before me afforded to thousands of individuals, companies, charities and other organizations whether they were donors or not.”

The former governor’s legal team responded quickly to the long-expected charges, insisting that prosecutors were using novel theories and stretching the facts to make their case. The legal team demanded that prosecutors turn over tape recordings of their instructions in asking a grand jury to indict the couple.

Among the legal team’s statements filed Tuesday in court:

● On the former governor’s innocence:

“Bob McDonnell is an innocent man. He never entered into an illegal agreement with Mr. Jonnie Williams or Star Scientific, nor did he ever promise or provide them any official benefits.”

● On the alleged benefits the governor provided:

“All that Governor McDonnell is alleged to have done for Star or Mr. Williams was facilitate two meetings with Virginia Health and Human Resources officials…"

● On the failure to show the governor’s acts were improper:

“The centuries-old crime of bribery requires — as it always has — proof of a quid pro quo in the form of illicit payments made to secure official government benefits. . . . Not everything a public official does to benefit a donor is an ‘official act,’ however, or every photo op would be a crime.” …

● On leaks in the press and impact on the election:

“Throughout the course of the investigation, each of its most salacious and damaging details has been reported in both the Richmond and Washington press due to repeated leaks by unnamed sources, many of whom the press has specifically identified as ‘law enforcement.’ The election occurred in the shadow of these leaks, with the Democratic candidate eking out a narrow victory over the Republican, while Governor McDonnell was effectively sidelined by the steady stream of negative leaks of confidential information.”

Well, they did what had to be done to get the Clintons’ bag man, Terry McAuliffe, into office.

● On the government’s cooperating witness Jonnie Williams:

The “flawed indictment” is “built largely from immunized testimony purchased with under-the-table promises to a key witness who would otherwise face criminal liability and massive financial penalties. The federal government’s decision to use these deceitful tactics in order to prosecute a popular and successful Republican Governor immediately upon his leaving office is disgraceful, violates basic principles of justice, and is contemptuous of the citizens of Virginia who elected him.”

McDonnell is a Republican, and a conservative Republican to boot. No tactic is too low to use against him.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “McDonnell: I Did Nothing Illegal, Case Is Flawed”

  1. Petronius says:

    I’m naturally suspicious of this prosecution because we’ve seen these Democrat tactics before –– e.g. in the Tom DeLay case, Scooter Libby, et al.

    But isn’t this a case of straining on the gnat and swallowing the camel?

    The real scandal is that there are so many Nerobama scandals that it would be scandalous just to list them all –– and yet the in-the-pocket American media simply ignores them, while the supine Republican leaders utter nary a word of protest.

    Yes, that’s the real scandal.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Valerie Jarrett: “What is best in life?
      Barack Obama: “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

      h/t Conan the Barbarian

    • Petronius says:

      John Milius borrowed that scene from Ghenghis Khan.

      So let this be our catechism :

      “What is good?
      The feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.

      “What is bad?
      All that proceeds from weakness.

      “What is happiness?
      The feeling that power increases, that resistance is being overcome.”
      – Nietzsche, The AntiChrist

      “What is the greatest happiness?
      To defeat your enemies, to see them fall at your feet, to take their horses and their goods, and to hear the lamentations of their women. Ah, that is best.”
      – Ghengis Khan

    • GetBackJack says:

      .. and the congregation said, Amen

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