The tobacco commission distributes funds from Virginia's share of the 1998 legal settlement with the major tobacco companies. But, according to the Post, records show that Star did not receive any funding from the commission, and the McDonnells maintain that they never tried to help William's company get the funding.
From the Post:
McDonnell has acknowledged that his family took more than $150,000 worth of gifts and cash the governor has said were loans from Williams. But his legal team says that any claims from Williams that the governor agreed to help the businessman or his company in exchange for the gifts are not credible.
“The governor never asked or directed anyone . . . to assist Star Scientific in obtaining research funding from the Virginia Tobacco Fund,” spokesman Jason Miyares said in a written statement. “Also, the Governor never told anyone at Star Scientific that he would try to help the company get funding from the Tobacco Commission.”
A key question for prosecutors is who is most believable about the interactions between the governor and Williams.
Read the whole Post article here.