Former Gov. McDonnell proclaims innocence following indictment - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Former Gov. McDonnell proclaims innocence following indictment

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Reaction is beginning to come in to the indictment of the former Governor and First Lady of Virginia.

Former Governor Bob McDonnell released a statement refuting the 14-count indictment in connection with the ongoing gift scandal with former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. The complete statement reads:

"My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific. 

"I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship.  I never promised - and Mr. Williams and his company never received - any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration. 

"We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government."

Click here to read the indictments (PDF):

House Republican leaders also issued a statement showing their support for the McDonnells following the indictment. House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), House Majority Leader M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) issued the following statement Tuesday:

"We are very disappointed by the news today. We have all known Bob McDonnell for a long time. He is a good friend whom we deeply respect. He has served his country and Commonwealth for nearly his entire adult life. We know that he has always strived to serve with the utmost conviction and integrity. Admittedly, he has made mistakes in judgment. He has apologized for those actions, which we know all Virginians deeply appreciate.

"We are a nation of laws. We believe in the rule of law and are confident in the ability of our legal system to render the rightful judgment, whatever it may be. That process must be allowed to run its course without interference or impediment.

"We are all praying for Governor McDonnell and his family during this difficult time." 

FULL COVERAGE: Former Governor Bob McDonnell indicted:

Meanwhile, Governor Terry McAuliffe also issued a statement thanking prosecutors for their investigation. The statement said, in full:

"I am obviously troubled by the charges that federal prosecutors have made against Governor McDonnell and his wife Maureen and the message that this period in our history sends about how government in this Commonwealth is run.

"As this case progresses, it is my sincerest hope that justice will be served and that Virginians get the answers to which they are entitled. As Governor, I will remain focused on leading this Commonwealth in a way that restores Virginians' trust in government and honors their expectation of transparency and accountability.

"I want to thank the many federal and state public safety officials who have worked on this case for their tireless and impartial efforts. Dorothy's and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire McDonnell family. This is a sad day for Virginia, but I remain optimistic that we can work together to reform our system in order to prevent episodes like this from occurring ever again."

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