McAuliffe responds to McDonnell ongoing scandal

Posted at 4:15 PM, Dec 19, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe spoke out about the latest news surrounding Governor Bob McDonnell Thursday.

McAuliffe made the remarks at an event to reappoint current Agriculture and Forestry Secretary Todd Haymore to his post and appoint former Hampton Mayor Molly Ward as Natural Resources Secretary.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that McDonnell and his wife were close to being indicted for illegally promoting the company Star Scientific in exchange for gifts from its CEO.

But the newspaper reported that the decision to possibly indict the governor was put on hold until after Jan. 2 following a last-minute plea to top justice department officials from McDonnell's lawyers.

CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George asked the governor-elect if he or anyone on his behalf lobbied to not indict McDonnell.

McAuliffe responded with a one word answer "no."

McAuliffe appeared to still stand by McDonnell, offering words of support.

"I'll say again my heart goes out to the McDonnell family," McAuliffe added. "You never know at the end of the day what the grand jury is going to do."

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said what The Post is reporting is very rare - after all if a U.S. district attorney wants to indict they don't usually need permission of DOJ officials.

"Each individual office have a lot of autonomy and they usually make there own decisions," Stone said.

But Stone also said that "this isn't the normal case."

Stay with and CBS 6 News for the latest on this developing story.