RICHMOND, Va. – A year-old declaration from one of Maureen McDonnell’s lawyers was just unsealed and could prove vital to former Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal.
The document revealed that Maureen said she was willing to take the blame for the corruption scandal, but she couldn’t because the couple were tried together.
Maureen, 60, and her husband, also 60, were convicted of numerous criminal charges in a six-week corruption trial that ended in September. Maureen was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, and Bob received two years.
The couple was found guilty of using the governor’s office to promote Richmond businessman Jonnie Williams’ tobacco-based diet supplement. In exchange, the couple and their children received cash, gifts, vacations, private-jet rides, golf outings and undocumented loans.
According to the newly unsealed document, Maureen wanted to tell the jury that she did not reveal full details to her husband about many of the gifts she received, or the value of the gifts, because she was worried he would tell her to curtail her relationship with Mr. Williams, and stop accepting gifts.
That, if true, runs counter to the prosecution’s contention that the husband and wife worked together to solicit cash, gifts and loans from Williams.
The new document revealed that Maureen couldn’t tell the jury such details because the same jury would then look even more unfavorably on her involvement and give her a stiffer punishment. The document says that if the governor had been tried separately, she would have testified for him, but would not have testified in her own trial.