McDonnell Corruption Scandal Keeps Getting Worse

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    Just when you thought Grifter Governor Bob’s corruption scandal(s) couldn’t get any worse…they do.

    A prominent political donor gave $70,000 to a corporation owned by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his sister last year, and the governor did not disclose the money as a gift or loan, according to people with knowledge of the payments.

    The donor, wealthy businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr., also gave a previously unknown $50,000 check to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, the people said.

    The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 – funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.

    Needless to say, a slimeball like Jonnie Williams wasn’t giving this money to the McDonnells because he’s a nice guy, or out of altruism, or whatever. The only question is, what was the quid pro quo exactly? I mean, we’re talking a LOT of money here! My theory? I think Paul Goldman was on to something with this post, “Insider Trading in Star Scientific Stock?”

    P.S. Oh, and just to make Grifter Bob’s day even worse, his son was arrested for public intoxication.

    UPDATE: CNN’s Peter Hamby tweets – “text from top GOPer just now on latest McDonnell revelation: ‘that’s not survivable.'” Hello, Governor Bolling?!?

    UPDATE #2: Sen. Chap Petersen writes, “This Story is Going to Another Level.”

    UPDATE #3: @LarrySabato just tweeted, “Look for Cuccinelli to break openly & sharply with McDonnell very soon.” The problem, as many people are pointing out, is that Cuccinelli is also tied to Jonnie Williams – took undisclosed gifts/donations from him (5 digits), bought stock in his company, is close “friends” with him, etc. Plus, what did the Attorney General’s office know, and when did it know it, about the Governor’s Mansion/Chefgate scandals, and what did the Attorney General’s office DO about it? (answer: nothing) Finally, was Cuccinelli really “walled off” from all this by his staff, as he claims, and if so how is that acceptable or even possible?!?  WTF? Inquiring minds want to know…

    • From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

      Tonight all eyes are on the unethical relationship that Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams has with the upper echelons of Virginia government.  

      Including his relationship with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  

      Ken Cuccinelli failed to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in stock holdings, gifts, trips, and even a catered Thanksgiving dinner from Williams despite overseeing a legal dispute over Star Scientific’s $1.7 million in unpaid taxes.  While those taxes remain unpaid, Ken Cuccinelli’s ties to Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams have led to his forced recusal on two separate cases.

      In the coming days Ken Cuccinelli may try to distance himself from this scandal. Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, his deep ties to Jonnie Williams make that impossible.  Cuccinelli’s relationship with Star Scientific has already been the focus of more than 250 broadcast TV stories across Virginia along with dozens of print stories; it will continue to be the focus of far more.

      Background:

      Cuccinelli Received More than $18,000 From Star Scientific and CEO Jonnie Williams

      In May 2013, the Daily Press reported, “In April Cuccinelli recused himself from the case as he came under scrutiny for owning more than $10,000 in Star Scientific stock and receiving more than $18,000 in gifts from the company’s CEO, Jonnie R. Williams Sr.” [Daily Press, 6/4/13]

      HEADLINE: Cuccinelli: I forgot to report gifts [Free Lance-Star, 4/27/13]

      Gifts Cuccinelli Initially Forgot to Disclose from Williams included Trip to New York, Lake House Vacation and a $1,500 Thanksgiving Dinner

      In April 2013, the AP reported, “Cuccinelli provided reporters with amended statements of economic interest for elected officials for the years 2009 through last year, saying he found five gifts he should have reported earlier but simply overlooked. They include a $3,000 summer vacation and $1,500 family Thanksgiving stay at a lake house owned by Jonnie Williams, head of Star Scientific Inc., and a political backer of Cuccinelli and Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. He also added a flight worth $628 that he and Williams took in 2009 to a Jewish Community Center event in New York.” [AP, 4/26/13]

      Cuccinelli “Failed to Disclose for Nearly a Year that He Had Substantial Stock Holdings” in Star Scientific

      In March 2013, the Washington Post reported, “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II failed to disclose for nearly a year that he had substantial stock holdings in a company, even though disclosure is required by law and his office was defending the state in a tax lawsuit filed by the company.” [Washington Post, 3/30/13]

      Washington Post: Cuccinelli Campaign Said Cuccinelli “Didn’t Realize that His Holdings Exceeded $10,000”

      The Washington Post reported, “Cuccinelli, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, said through a campaign consultant that the attorney general did not disclose his interest in Star Scientific because he didn’t realize that his holdings exceeded $10,000, the threshold for disclosure under state law. Once he realized the oversight, Cuccinelli corrected it, said the consultant, Chris LaCivita.” [Washington Post, 3/30/13]

      Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: Cuccinelli Recused Himself from Star Scientific Tax Lawsuit After “Considerable Public Pressure was Brought to Bear”

      In April 2013, the Richmond Times Dispatch editorial board stated, “Cuccinelli has now withdrawn from the case and brought in outside counsel to handle it. Yet he did not do so until after the relationship was revealed and considerable public pressure was brought to bear.” [Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial, 4/12/13]

      AP: Star Scientific Lawsuit against the Commonwealth Raised Questions about Cuccinelli’s “Potential Conflicts of Interest”

      In March 2013, the AP reported, “A lawsuit against the state of Virginia by a nutritional supplement maker whose stock comprises Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s total investment portfolio is raising questions about the Republican’s potential conflicts of interest.”  [AP, 3/22/13]

      Case Sat Dormant under Attorney General Cuccinelli since August 2011

      In March 2013 the AP reported, “Henrico-based Star Scientific Inc. sued Virginia’s Department of Taxation in Mecklenberg Circuit Court in July 2011 over a $700,000 tax dispute with the state. A deputy attorney general filed an answer to the complaint the following month. There have been no new motions, pleadings, filings or hearings in the case since.” [AP, 3/22/13]

      …Despite $1.7 Million on the Line for Virginia Taxpayers

      The Roanoke Times editorial board stated, “The stakes are significant for Star Scientific, which is making a push to market a plant-based dietary supplement designed to reduce inflammation. The company could be on the hook for at least $1.7 million in taxes, penalties and interest if it loses the dispute, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.” [Roanoke Times Editorial, 4/2/13]

      Cuccinelli Recused Office from Case against Former Executive Mansion Chef Todd Schneider, Citing a “Conflict of Interest”

      In April 2013, the Washington Post reported, “It is written in the style of an order from the judge, who would only have to sign the form if he decides to grant the recusal. It says simply that the court “has determined that the Office has a conflict of interest in the continued investigation and prosecution of this matter.” [Washington Post, 4/24/13]

      Washington Post: Recusal Appears to be Attempt by Cuccinelli to Distance Himself from Jonnie Williams and Star Scientific

      The Washington Post reported, “Cuccinelli’s recusal effort seems aimed at helping him make a clean break from all matters related to Williams and Star, a financially troubled company that is the subject of a federal securities investigation and two shareholder lawsuits.” [Washington Post, 4/24/13]

      Cuccinelli Campaign Claimed Office “Walled Off” Cuccinelli from Chef Case for Five Months Because of Conflict of Interest with Jonnie Williams

      In July 2013, the Washington Post reported, “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s staff purposely shielded him from allegations of improper behavior by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell for five months last year, knowing the attorney general was friendly with a key donor at the center of those accusations, according to new information released by Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign. Cuccinelli (R) had stayed at the home of Star Scientific Inc. chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. shortly after he took office in 2010, so Cuccinelli’s deputy “walled off” Cuccinelli from a separate criminal investigation into whether a chef at the governor’s mansion had embezzled food, campaign officials said.” [Washington Post, 7/3/13]

    • demomatic

      Obviously, Sabato’s non-denial denial, therefore shutting down the debate last weekend, originated from Tucker’s statement. Since when is a PR flack the definitive source for truth? Sabato #FAIL s again-

    • blue bronc

      The stinking pile keeps getting deeper.  Every week, or more often, another shovel full comes flying out of the barn.  As well put, the Cooch must have his spinners weaving up one giant rug to cover up his involvement.

    • ir003436

      . . . that Rolex Bob is a graduate of Pat Robertson University?  

      And that he ran on a platform of being a “christian” moral and ethical values?  

      And the he was, until recently, considered prime GOP VP or Cabinet material?

      Or would that be pointing out the obvious?

    • totallynext
    • AShifflett

      I’m beginning to think that we’ll see a Governor Bolling after all.  All this bad news for the people of Virginia is good news for Democrats politically.  If just a few more Republicans say he has to go, then he’ll end up going.  Or be forced out.

    • kindler

      …when you just can’t let the bleeding go on any longer.  The pressure for McDonnell to step down is only going to grow.

      I bet you there are a lot of Republicans buying Depends this week…

    • Jim B

      Unless I missed it, so far the NYT has not reported on our glorious gov, but just about every other site has.

    • fendertweed

      I have to believe that the federal prosecutors and the grand jury are going after 18 USC 1346, honest services fraud, and that they have evidence that would support either principal, accomplice, or conspiracy liability for Gov. VagProbe, Mrs. VagProbe, Mr. Williams, and perhaps others.

      It would not surprise me to see them, at some point, say to Mrs. VagProbe or Williams, one or more of you (she, he, or Gov. VagProbe) are going to go to prison for this unless you come clean, and give one of them immunity.  Mrs. Gov. VagProbe has a marital privilege, of course.

      The defense of “Virginia ethics law is so sorry-assed impotent that nothing I did was illegal under Va. law” (the VagProbe defense so far) will fold like a house of cards if the federal statute comes into play, and at that point I assume prosecutorial hardball and turning witnesses will come into play.  

      I have reason to believe that this is the way things are headed based on that usual scenario and some other info I know of but can’t speculate about.

      I have to assume Gov. VagProbe is puckered up, his sheets may be brown, and the probe heading his way may have a bigger sting (to him personally) than the one he’s foisted on the women of Virginia.