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As an attorney I always remind people that it is a very good thing the criminal justice system presumes us not guilty, until the state makes its case against us beyond a reasonable doubt.  If you're ever charged with a crime, you'll be glad about that, if nothing else.

However I can also say that it takes a pretty substantial amount of evidence against someone to persuade authorities that they are likely to convict someone of a crime.  Which means that if former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is not guilty now, some very smart people have decided that he sure will be, after a trial.

So while no crime has been proven - yet - it is instructive to note that the ex-Governor appears to have done enough to attract the unpleasantness of charges.  And so it is useflu to remember, just who this guy is (or was):

-  the governor who instigated some pretty vile incursions into the lives, privacy and rights of women in Virginia who might decide to exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion

-  proponent of off shore drilling (that's the best thing you can say about him)

-  fervent opponent of human rights for gay people

-- fervent proponent of human rights FOR guns

-  serious contender for the 2012 Veep spot with Mitt Romney.  A moot point, as it turns out, or we'd be in Spiro Agnew territory now.

Let us hope that the Democrats and friends find a way to remind people of the deep sincerity of Mr. McDonnell's moralizing, paternalistic and essentially vicious politics, cloaked as they were, in a big grin.  

Mr. McDonnell famously offered these words:   "man's basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

The gentleman carefully did not apply those rules to graft (alleged).  I hope the ex-Governor is prepared to say hello to some restraint, punishment and deterrence.

Originally posted to samsoneyes on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 01:48 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  14 felony counts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jacey, True North

    That's a lot.  Seems the news is getter better these days...

    •  Not really, the feds are good at slicing up things (0+ / 0-)

      into multiple charges.  For example, you rob a bank and then buy a candy bar with the money.  They'd call that bank robbery of course, but also money laundering.

      You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

      by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 06:33:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well considering... (0+ / 0-)

    ..how chary the Feds are about indicting political figures, esp republicans, I be they have some real good evidence.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 02:30:01 PM PST

  •  Will he rat out his wife, or vice versa? (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me (as a former lawyer) that he and his wife will need separate counsel, and there will likely be a great deal of "No, that was all her doing and I knew nothing about it." "Au contraire, he knew every single shopping trip and promised he'd make it worth their while." Their stories already don't match up, and I expect the US Attorney to use every opportunity to drive the wedge deeper. The TV docudrama will be highly entertaining, but the real one will be ugly ugly.

    •  Before McDonnell's term ended (0+ / 0-)

      the missus had already obtained her own counsel, although I'm not sure if it was at her own expense or taxpayer expense.
      I'd be interested to know, however, if indicting McDonnell after he left office now releases us VA taxpayers from paying the very high fees of the attorneys appointed by Cuchinelli after he recused himself for conflict of interest.

  •  Treat them like citizens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gharlane

    If convicted the ex-first lady and governor should serve time in a real prison - just like other citizens.

  •  If you have the time (0+ / 0-)

    and want some giggles, here is the indictment.

    http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/...

  •  McDonnell helped out his rich friends, that seems (0+ / 0-)

    to be the entire charge.  I'm not seeing the fraud here.  He's a sleaze of course, but that's no crime.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 06:31:37 AM PST

    •  Please read the full indictment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      and you might not continue to think that way.
      I have no sympathy for Williams--who most certainly was hoping his generosity would procure influence from high places--but if the charges are true, it's more a story of the McDonnells helping themselves at Williams' expense.
      During the course of McDonnell's administration they repeatedly suggested to Williams the financial help, gifts, and purchases they needed/wanted and he complied.
      The indictment calls this extortion.
      At the very least, the McDonnells come across as shameless grifters.
      I mean, do you charge golfing stuff for yourself and your children (and their friends) to someone's account when you are playing golf at an exclusive golf club as the man's guest? When the man himself isn't there?
      There are other charges as well, such as lying to Grand Jury investigators, falsifying loan applications, and concealing the full extent of transactions with Williams on state-mandated financial reporting forms.
      It's quite the trash heap of entitlement, greed, and abuse of office.

  •  His big obstacle - he was the state AG... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRsCousin

    He KNOWS what is illegal...14 felonies, including bribery and extortion? If you go through some of the points in the indictment, it does not sound padded, at least not to this non-lawyer.

    Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

    by old mark on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 06:45:01 AM PST

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