Multiple sources in Richmond's legal community have confirmed to me that the investigation of Star Scientific by state and federal prosecutors turned up what they feel is sufficient evidence to charge Virginia's Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen with one or more felonies and in consequence, McDonnell is attempting to negotiate his resignation in exchange for no prosecution of Virginia's first couple.
This story first broke on Saturday, July 6, 2013 when Republican blogger Willie Deutsch told his shocked readers that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was negotiating a resignation. It being the weekend, I was unable to confirm this story immediately. I now have multiple sources from within Richmond's legal community confirming that an investigation of the connections between Bob McDonnell, Maureen McDonnell, Star Scientific,Inc., and Star Scientific's CEO Jonnie Williams has turned up sufficient evidence to present a case to a federal grand jury this week. The McDonnells have apparently seen the writing on the wall and are now trying to avoid a felony conviction in exchange for a quick and clean exit from Virginia's Governor's Mansion.
The irony is palpable--accused of influence peddling, the McDonnells are attempting to barter their way to freedom with the very office they are accused of having used to solicit gifts from Jonnie Williams and Star Scientific.
Confirmation of this story also explains the sudden shift in position of Virginia's Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Last week, Ken Cuccinelli claimed he was unaware of the investigation of Bob McDonnell. This past Monday he claimed the investigation was "not related to me." Today, Wednesday July 10, 2013, Ken Cuccinelli attempted to take credit for the investigation.* According to NBC News' First Read blog:
The question now becomes whether McDonnell's fall from grace hurts gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, who Democrats point out also has close ties to Jonnie Williams (including accepting gifts from him). The Cuccinelli campaign responds that Cucinelli’s AG office initiated this investigation, and they don’t believe McAuliffe will be a credible messenger to attack them on this issue. But it’s hard to see how this doesn’t hurt Cuccinelli, because he needs to court moderates and the GOP business community, and right now McDonnell looks to be toxic to help him with those groups. Meanwhile, the Cuccinelli campaign is hitting Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe for campaigning today with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “Gov. O’Malley signed the largest tax increase in Maryland history and earned a ‘D’ rating for supporting increased spending and higher taxes. He supports the war on coal, Obamacare, and even forced non-union teachers to pay union fees,” the Cuccinelli campaign says in a release.Get it Ken? You can't attack Terry McAuliffe for his association with a honest, fiscally responsible Democratic governor and expect to avoid having your relationship with crooked, ethically compromised Republican Governor Bob McDonnell examined. In point of fact, it appears that Cuccinelli attempted to delay or even derail investigation of McDonnell. Ken Cuccinelli is hopelessly entangled with Virginia's soon to be disgraced Governor Bob McDonnell. It's time to examine the evidence pointing to Cuccinelli trying to cover up "Giftgate."
The graphic below was created by Progress Virginia and it outlines how Ken Cuccinelli became embroiled in an influence peddling scheme with Star Scientific, Inc.
|Click on the image to visit Progress Virginia.|
* A big hat tip to Lowell Feld of Blue Virginia for the story about Ken Cuccinelli's flip-flop.