RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—The Justice Department chose to delay possible felony charges against Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife after the governor’s attorneys made an appeal in Washington, according to an exclusive report published Wednesday night by the Washington Post which cites"people familiar with the case."
The governor has been at the center of a state and federal investigation into whether or not Jonnie Williams Jr. or Star Scientific benefited in any way from Governor Bob McDonnell as a result of the gifts, loans, and stock owned by the family.
Williams is the owner of a dietary supplement company that McDonnell and his wife have promoted in recent years.
The political scandal has unfolded over the past year and extended to the First Lady Maureen McDonnell, and even Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The probe uncovered evidence that Williams has given the governor and his family more than $150,000 in gifts and loans over an 18-month period.
Such gifts included Rolex watches, family vacations, loans for his real estate business, and even a $15,000 dollar check to his daughter for her wedding.
Attorneys for the state’s first couple met with Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole on Dec. 12, according to the Washington Post article, and argued that the governor had done “nothing improper.”
To enable a smooth transition of power as Terry McAuliffe steps in to the Governor’s role, attorneys asked that if prosecutors were to file charges, that they be made after Jan. 11, according to the Washington Post.
In July Gov. McDonnell announced he was paying back more than $120,000 in loans.
McDonnell said he had repaid Williams $52,278 for a loan made to his wife Maureen McDonnell in 2011, as well as a $71,837 for two loans made to a McDonnell family business.
Funds for repayment came from McDonnell himself, his family, and his family’s business.
In Sept. Virginia Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said he sent an $18,000 check to a Richmond-based charity to “resolve any questions surrounding the matter concerning Star Scientific.”
Read the entire, exclusive article on the Washington Post, who report that a final decision on pressing charges is not expected before Jan. 2.
CBS 6 has reached out to McDonnell's private attorneys, and communications director. We have not heard back at time of publishing and will post an update when we do.