Today, Virginia's former governor, Bob McDonnell, was convicted of 11 counts of corruption by a federal court. His wife, Maureen, was convicted of nine counts. They both face up to 30 years in prison, but won't be sentenced until January 6.
In the meantime, the McDonnells will likely appeal the convictions. What's more, they might actually have a shot of getting them overturned.
Bob McDonnell was a rising star in the Republican party, and served as governor of Virginia from 2010 to 2014. Many believed that he was a potential contender for the 2016 presidential elections.
In 2013, however, the Washington Post revealed that $15,000 of catering at McDonnell's daughter's wedding had been paid for by a businessman named Jonnie R. Williams Sr. At that time, Williams was the CEO of a supplement company, Star Scientific.
The wedding gift, which was not disclosed by McDonnell, is just one element of the McDonnells’ close relationship with Williams and his company, a relationship that has included rides on Williams’ corporate jet, personal gifts to the first family and efforts by the governor and his wife to promote the company.
Williams gave McDonnell and his family a number of undisclosed gifts, which were essentially a trade-off for political favors for his company.
Simply put, McDonnell accepted money in exchange for helping Williams' company.
In Virginia, it's not illegal for politicians to accept personal gifts. It is illegal, however, for them to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from a company and then speak to state officials on the company's behalf.
Photo Courtesy: Wenn