Tag Archives: federal government

Former Commonwealth Secretary Janet Kelley stands by McDonnell

Janet KellyBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Janet Kelly has worked with and for former Governor Bob McDonnell for years, a friendship and dedication that is mutual. More than a decade ago when he was planning to run for attorney general, she reached out to ask for help with a hospitality suite at the Republican Advance that was about to be held at the Homestead. During that time, she gained my respect for her dedication and hard work. That has not changed, and her loyalty to the Governor that continues to this day is something that is not often found in politics.

I have found with Bob McDonnell a dedication from many that is rare in politics where we all swim in a shark tank, where others are too eager to climb on the backs of others to reach a higher rung on the ladder of success, and if you have one or two friends (not to be confused with allies), you are fortunate.

Janet’s friendship with the Governor continued Tuesday when she testified at his sentencing trial, as reported by Rachel Weiner with the Washington Post:

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Former Governor Wilder stands by McDonnell, courtroom crowd applauds

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

As character witness after character witness approached the witness stand, federal prosecutors sat and listened but made no move to cross-examine … until former Governor Doug Wilder stepped up to defend his old friend. Rosalind S. Helderman and Matthew Zapotosky with the Washington Post wrote what happened in the courtroom that caused the pro-McDonnell crowd to explode in applause when he brought up the man who got blanket immunity from the federal government:

L. Douglas Wilder, a fraternity brother of the former  governor and a former Virginia governor himself, told the judge that if not for this case, McDonnell would be on the shortlist for the presidential nomination.

“Without question,” Wilder said.
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Speaker Howell reacts to McDonnell verdict, stands by his friend

Bob McDonnellBy Lynn R. Mitchell

One of the character witnesses at Tuesday’s sentencing trial for former Governor Bob McDonnell was Virginia House of Representatives Speaker Bill Howell who stood up for his friend and fellow Republican. Washington Post reporter Matthew Zapotosky, who was in the courthouse in Richmond, noted the Speaker’s defense of McDonnell:

Speaker of the Virginia House William J. Howell (R-Stafford) has told Judge James Spencer that the trial and conviction of former governor Bob McDonnell has already served as a significant deterrent to other state lawmakers who might be tempted to break the law.

He said both caucuses of both chambers of the legislature have had “people” (FBI agents, presumably) brief them on the trial’s lessons. As a result, he said, legislators were especially concerned to “dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s.”

He noted that the legislature has already enhanced state ethics laws as a result of McDonnell’s actions and is likely to  stiffen those laws when the annual legislative session opens next week.
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Defending Bob McDonnell … will federal government now go on a witch hunt for others?

Bob McDonnell 10By Lynn R. Mitchell

The stunned shock when former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted on questionable federal fraud charges turned into disbelief and concern from his supporters and even some of his adversaries.

Those concerns were addressed Sunday in an article by Bob Rayner in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see After the verdict: More indictments?):

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Federal judge to McDonnell: No, no, no, and no

Bob McDonnell 10By Lynn R. Mitchell

It seems that every time I read the news, it’s another denial by the federal government of some request from former Governor Bob McDonnell’s defense regarding his upcoming trial to the point where I’m mentally keeping score and wondering, “What’s up?”

Jim Hoeft said what I’ve been thinking in his Tuesday morning update:

McDonnell still on defense: In other news, the federal prosecution continues to wrangle with the McDonnell defense team in advance of the July 28 trial for the embattled former governor.  Now, the prosecution is trying to deny the governor his expert witness testimony.  He was denied a delay to preliminary rulings.  Denied having the charges dropped.  Denied separate trials from his wife.  Denied his full request for communications between Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams and Maureen McDonnell’s then Chief of Staff Mary-Shea Sutherland.  At some point the governor has to win a few of these legal preliminaries, no?

Exactly.

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