Judge refuses to acquit or call for new trial for McDonnells

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer] turned down the requests by former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife for acquittal or a new trial on corruption charges. In September a federal jury convicted Bob McDonnell on 11 of 13 counts and Maureen McDonnell on nine of 13.

The judge also threw out Maureen McDonnell’s obstruction of justice conviction saying “obstruction of justice requires more than a misleading note” (see Judge tosses out one of Maureen McDonnell’s convictions).

This judge has been unmoved by requests from the McDonnells, to the point where many have raised eyebrows at his hardened stand. Today’s rulings followed in that same vein. It is truly mind-boggling considering Virginia’s lax attitude in the area where McDonnell was convicted by the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Jonnie Williams, whose business dealings have some wondering if he’s a con man, walks free, thanks to the blanket immunity provided to him by the same U.S. government that crushed one of the most popular and effective governors Virginia has ever had. There is something seriously wrong with this entire situation.

Paul Goldman investigated much of Williams’ background that makes for some enlightened — and disturbing — reading (see Were federal prosecutors conned into pursuing Governor McDonnell?).

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