The sad truth is that these back channel discussions have been going on for weeks, if not months:
Attorneys for Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, will spend Monday locked in separate hours-long meetings trying to convince federal prosecutors that the first couple should not be charged in the gifts scandal that has dominated state politics.Yeah, sure . . ."new" and "critical" . . . as if these talks haven't been going on for months.
The meetings open a new, critical phase of the investigation, timed to help prosecutors decide over the next few weeks whether to file charges, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.
The real is questions boil down to this: 1) if the federal prosecutors actually have something on Bob McDonnell, why would they let him walk? 2) What can the McDonnells possibly offer the feds to make them back off? If the feds really have something on the McDonnells, why bargain? Why not hang them out to dry like the Blagovichs?
The only thing I am sure of is this: Bearing Drift owes Willie Deutsch an apology, because this story confirms what we've known for some time--Bob and Maureen McDonnell are bargaining with the feds, trying to avoid indictment.