A senior official at the Justice Department on Thursday described the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as a clear sign the Republican had betrayed the people he was elected to serve.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were found guilty by a federal jury on Thursday of multiple corruption charges related to the gifts and money they accepted from a wealthy businessman while in the governor’s mansion.
The Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell released this statement following the verdict:
As Virginia’s governor, Robert McDonnell and his wife turned public service into a money-making enterprise, abusing the Commonwealth’s highest office to benefit a Virginia businessman in exchange for more than $170,000 in gifts and loans. In pursuit of a lifestyle that they could ill afford, McDonnell and his wife eagerly accepted luxury items, designer clothes, free vacations and the businessman’s offer to pay the costs of their daughter’s wedding. In return, McDonnell put the weight of the governor’s mansion behind the businessman’s corporate interests. The former governor was elected to serve the people of Virginia, but his corrupt actions instead betrayed them. Today’s convictions should send a message that corruption in any form, at any level of government, will not be tolerated.
The couple’s sentencing has been set for Jan. 6.