An island vacation worth $23,000 is part of a potentially crucial dispute taking place in the buildup to the federal trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell.
The Washington Post reported late Monday that prosecutors have accused McDonnell and his family of accepting the lavish May 2012 from a hotelier with ties to the University of Virginia: Board of Visitors Vice Rector William H. Goodwin Jr.
A month after the trip, McDonnell appointed Goodwin to serve as a “senior advisor” to the University of Virginia’s board (Goodwin had previously served a a board member). Over the years, Goodwin also made nearly $200,000 in contributions to McDonnell’s political action committee, campaign, and inaugural committee.
The vacation gift from Goodwin does not appear to have any direct ties to Jonnie Williams, the Virginia businessman and McDonnell donor whose gifts to the McDonnells are at the heart of the federal case against Virginia’s former first coupe, according to the Post. But the newspaper reports that prosecutors have argued in a recent court filing that the Goodwin vacation was just one of many undisclosed gifts received by the McDonnells while Bob McDonnell was governor. Prosecutors want to use those gifts as part of their arguments against McDonnell — while his lawyers have argued that the other gifts are irrelevant to the government’s accusations.
The McDonnells have pleaded not guilty. Their trial is scheduled for July.