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Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at CPAC. 19 February 2010.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is probably not looking so pleased with himself today.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, appeared in court Friday morning to be arraigned on corruption charges that read like fiction, filled with Rolex watches and Oscar de la Renta dresses in exchange for help promoting a dietary supplement company. The McDonnells were released on their own recognizance until a trial set for July 28. The McDonnells appear ready to fight the charges:
Even before going to court, the McDonnells’ attorneys had filed motions saying that prosecutors’ legal theory of the case would criminalize even routine political dealings, and that their evidence hinges on “immunized testimony purchased with under-the-table promises to a key witness who would otherwise face criminal liability and massive financial penalties.”

The former Republican governor rejected an offer to plead guilty to one felony bank fraud charge that had nothing to do with corruption in office, people with knowledge of the conversations said. The plea would also have allowed Maureen O’Donnell to avoid charges, those people said.

There's often a gap between what's self-evidently corrupt and what's provably illegal, especially given that Virginia's campaign finance laws are fairly lax, but "buy my husband a Rolex" is not actually a routine political dealing.

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Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 09:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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