Governor McDonnell Could Face Criminal Charges
It looks as though Virginia’s outgoing Governor may face criminal charges soon after leaving office next month.
According to the Washington Post, a federal prosecutor’s plan to ask for an indictment against
Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, has been delayed until the first of the year. The request is in connection with the Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams scandal, also known as “giftgate”.
The charges were to have been filed earlier this week, but were delayed until February, following an appeal by McDonnells’ attorneys. That would allow McDonnell to avoid becoming the first sitting Virginia governor in state history to face criminal charges.
The investigation focuses on whether McDonnell violated the Hobbs Act, which makes it a federal crime for a public official to receive payments or other financial gifts, knowing that those payments are in return for a promise of action while in office.
Governor McDonnell has denied any wrong-doing and has returned all gifts and financial loans given to him, and his wife, by Williams. But several other allegations of wrong-doing are playing a role in the case.
A final decision about whether to press charges is not expected before January 2.