McDonnell Says Government’s Case Rests On ‘Misguided Legal Theory’

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) spoke out in a news conference on Tuesday about the federal charges filed against him and his wife earlier in the day, maintaining his innocence, and arguing the government’s case rests “entirely on misguided legal theory.”

McDonnell and his wife face more than a dozen charges over the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and payments they accepted from Jonnie Williams, a wealthy Virginia businessman and political donor.

“The United States Supreme Court has already rejected this radical idea and for good reason,” McDonnell said of the government’s case, arguing that if the rationale behind it were universally applied, “nearly every elected official, from President Obama on down, would have to be charged” for providing tangible benefits to donors.

“No other elected official has been successfully prosecuted for such conduct,” McDonnell said.


Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at