Former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wife Plead Not Guilty | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wife Plead Not Guilty

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in front of a federal judge on Friday.

As we've reported, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have been charged with 14 counts, including conspiracy and wire fraud over allegations they took gifts from the CEO of a pharmaceutical company and in exchange provided Star Scientific with the "prestige of the governorship."

USA Today says the McDonnells were released on their own recognizance but were ordered not to leave the country. The paper adds:

"The former governor's lawyer told Novak the defendants already have surrendered their passports.

"Clearly exasperated by months of news stories about the case based on anonymous sources, [U.S. Magistrate Judge David Novak] sternly lectured lawyers from both sides not to discuss the case with the media. He warned that such conduct violates a local court rule and could result in contempt of court charges.

" 'This case is going to be tried in the courtroom; it is not going to be tried in the media,' Novak said. 'The gamesmanship with the media ends now.' "

On that front, The Washington Post has a story that quotes "people with knowledge" saying the former governor rejected a plea deal that would have avoided charges for his wife. McDonnell, the paper reports, would have pleaded guilty to a felony fraud charge that "had nothing to do with corruption in office."

The Post adds:

"The failed behind-the-scenes plea discussions underscore the former governor's strong assertion that prosecutors have stretched the law to ensnare a high-level official through the actions of his wife. He has emphatically insisted that he did nothing illegal in his interactions with businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. and made no agreements to assist his company, Star Scientific Inc.

"It also provides a vivid illustration of the extent to which both of the McDonnells believe that it was the former first lady's poor judgment in establishing a friendship with Williams that has landed the couple in legal peril."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

HBO And 'Game Of Thrones' Haul In The Most Emmy Nominations

HBO got 99 nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards, the most of any network. HBO's Game of Thrones got 19 nominations, one ahead of FX's miniseries Fargo.
NPR

From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp

Many processed foods contain cellulose, which is plant fiber that is commonly extracted from wood. It's used to add texture, prevent caking and boost fiber. And it's been around for ages.
NPR

In Central America, Attempts To Cross U.S. Border Like 'Feeding Frenzy'

Thousands of Central American children are crossing the border and ending up in detention facilities. Host Michel Martin learns more about why so many children are fleeing Central America.
NPR

Twitter Turns World Cup Into A 'Global Sports Bar'

The Brazil vs. Germany World Cup semifinal created more activity on Twitter than any other sporting event had. Host Michel Martin learns about how social media has changed the tournament experience.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.