They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Earlier this month, Bob McDonnell became former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. On Tuesday, he became indicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Just days after he left office, the Republican and and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged in federal court with more than a dozen counts related to the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans they accepted from a wealthy Virginia businessman. (The ex-governor maintained on Tuesday that he had done nothing illegal.)

The fact that the McDonnells were under scrutiny from prosecutors was no secret. Stories about the investigation, and the relationship between the McDonnells and the businessman, Jonnie Williams, had been appearing in the press for months. We knew (thanks in large part to stellar reporting from The Washington Post) about the Rolex, and the Oscar de la Renta dress, and the Ferrari joyride, and the golf outings. But the 43-page indictment filed on Tuesday did reveal numerous new details about the scandal, and confirmed several other points which had been fuzzy or in dispute.

Here are the highlights:

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The New Jersey General Assembly and Senate plan on Tuesday morning to announce the creation of a special joint committee dedicated to investigating the scandal that has fallen on Gov. Chris Christie's (R) administration, a source in the State House confirmed to TPM.

The establishment of the joint committee, which was first reported by NBC News' Michael Isikoff, will be announced at a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.

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Rockefeller Group, the company at the center of explosive allegations made by the mayor of Hoboken, N.J. over the weekend, has an extensive history of spreading campaign cash around New Jersey.

Records show the company and its executives have doled out more than $70,000 to Jersey candidates and committees from both parties, including $2,500 to Gov. Chris Christie.

Rockefeller Group became a focus of attention Saturday when Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Christie aides had threatened to withhold hurricane relief money unless she approved a development project that involves the company. Rockefeller owns the land where the project was to be built and was also represented by a law firm founded by a close Christie ally.

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A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) pushed back on Saturday afternoon against allegations that the governor's office withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds from Hoboken, N.J. until the mayor there approved a real estate project.

In a memo sent to reporters that stretched more than 1,500 words, spokesman Colin Reed characterized the allegations as part of a "gleeful assault" by the "partisan" MSNBC network and disputed the notion Hoboken had not gotten its fair share of Sandy aid funds.

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Updated: January 17, 2014, 6:05 PM

Several close aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), along with his campaign, are among those who reportedly are receiving subpoenas in the latest round of the investigation into the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Multiple media outlets on Friday reported the names of 15 of at least 20 people and organizations that are being subpoenaed by a pair of special legislative committees that have been set up to investigate the scandal.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is no stranger to accusations of political bullying and backroom dealing like those at the heart of the bridge scandal.

TPM has found one of the first times the brash political brawler faced such claims was in the mid-1980s when he was an undergrad at the University of Delaware.

There, student newspaper archives show, Christie was accused of establishing a college political machine that rewarded his friends and drove his classmates out of student government. One fellow student even wrote to the paper to decry Christie's "cronyism" and question the legitimacy of the future governor's reign.

The accusations have have relevance anew now that the potential 2016 presidential contender is facing the biggest turmoil of his career with the uproar over the George Washington Bridge. Democrats in New Jersey have accused members of Christie's administration of using their power to close lanes on the bridge, causing a traffic jam in the town of Fort Lee, N.J. as revenge against the mayor there. Christie's office did not respond to a request for comment.

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People who know New Jersey politics know who Michael Drewniak is.

A spokesperson for Gov. Chris Christie (R) going back to Christie's days as a U.S. attorney, Drewniak is known for "routinely [channeling] his boss's invective," as The Newark Star-Ledger put it recently. In 2009, when he was still the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey and a registered Democrat, the website PolitickerNJ wrote about Drewniak's "testicular fortitude" in attending Christie's gubernatorial campaign kick-off event.

“We are not required to act like cloistered drones when it comes to the political process," Drewniak told the website at the time.

Thanks to the release last week of thousands of pages of documents connected to the George Washington Bridge lane closures, many people outside New Jersey politics have now learned who Drewniak is, too, while also learning a few things about his use of invective.

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