Governor McDonnell hires the Big Guns to Defend Him

Decades ago there was saying in Washington DC,  “if you know you’re guilty hire Edward Bennett Williams“.  Conversely when a person hired Edward Bennett Williams, people assumed he was guilty.    Williams was the founding partner of the famous DC law firm, Williams and Connelly.   He defended such people as Senator Joe McCarthy and Jimmy Hoffa.   Williams also owned sports teams, including the Redskins and Orioles. 

Last week we learned that a high powered, well known, Williams and Connelly partner, Emmet T. Flood,  was hired by the Governor and met with him at the Governor’s mansion on Tuesday.  Hiring Flood is the modern day equivalent to hiring Edward Bennet Williams.  In a statement about their  meeting McDonnell said, “Over the last couple months I’ve felt that given some of the things that were occurring with reviews being done on statements of mine, that it was proper for me to seek counsel.

“Emmet Flood is an attorney that’s advising me on things and I don’t think anybody should be surprised with that.” (I am surprised at the strange wording of the statement and have no idea what he’s trying to say.)

Mr. Flood  defended Dick Cheney on behalf of the Bush White House when sued by Valerie Plame.  Flood also represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings.  McDonnell and Flood have been in consultation for months, despite the Governor’s office refusal to discuss it.   At issue is not the $108,000 in cash and airfares  that McDonnell supporter Jonnie Williams gave the Governor and his PAC.  Mr. Williams is the CEO of Star Scientific, a former tobacco company that now makes dietary supplements.  The company  is under a federal securities investigation.  Williams is also in litigation with the state of Virginia over a $700,000 tax dispute.  Mr. William’s attorney is Jerry Kilgore.  (Yes, THAT Jerry Kilgore, former Virginia Attorney General and candidate for Governor.  Things just get curiousier and curiousier.)

At issue is other ‘gifts’ that Mr. Williams gave the McDonnell family and the lack of reporting of these gifts.   Williams paid for the McDonnell daughter’s wedding reception at the Governor’s mansion in 2011.  He paid for Maureen McDonnell’s shopping spree in New York which included a $10,000 jacket, several pairs of designer shoes and handbags, and a designer dress.   Mr. Williams also provided a Rolex watch that was given to the Governor by his wife.  Williams lent the McDonnell family his vacation home for their personal use.   He may also have helped pay for the McDonnell family to attend the Final Four basketball tournament in 2011.  A federal grand jury and been convened and  is now investigating these gifts.  The jury is expected to begin taking testimony from witnesses next week.

Governor McDonnell has maintained that Mr. Williams has been given no special treatment by the state.

Although this had nothing to do with Mr. Williams, Maureen McDonnell was hired as a consultant to the United Company and paid $36,000 for a few days work.  This was not reported because she was made a trustee.  Perhaps more maneuvering around the law?  That story here. 

Much more here and here and here.   It’s now very obvious why the Governor felt it necessary to hire the someone of the stature of Emmet T. Flood.   When you care enough to hire the very best, you turn to Williams and Connelly and Emmet Flood.

UPDATE:  The Governor has also hired former Virginia Attorney General Tony Troy.   Mr. Troy has taken to leaving threatening emails to bloggers who dare to write that our Governor may be leaving office.  That story here.   It’s never a good idea to go after a blogger.  It tends to anger them, and other bloggers.  Why make unnecessary enemies in the blogging community?   This could have been handled better.

UPDATE 2:  This is indeed getting worse by the minute.  More from BearingDrift. 


9 thoughts on “Governor McDonnell hires the Big Guns to Defend Him

  1. Nothing to be proud of, but chicken feed compared to the $50 Million in loan guarantees that Terry McAuliffe got form the I.B.E.W. pension fund to finance some of his FL real estate investments…and that was just ONE of Terry’s deals that invited ethics investigations. There were many others.

  2. It is a sad saga. I was shocked when the man we thought was a conservative pushed through the biggest tax increase in the history of Virginia. I am deeply disappointed in his ethical missteps. I must admit that I would never have predicted that Bob McDonnell would do this. Very sad. And Very stupid.

  3. Conservatives are fiscally responsible. It would have been fiscally irresponsible not to have revenue available to maintain, repair and build transportation infrastructure. I can’t see anything “un-conservative” about the tax reforms of last session.

    1. The problem in Richmond is NOT lack of money, it’s lack of prioritizing the money. What funds were being used to pay road repairs prior to the $6 BILLION? Roads in my neck of the woods are repaved every single year, whether they need it or not. Ditto every bridge over Rt7. Why do we need BILLIONS more for these repairs? And why can’t they cut something else if road repairs are the priority?

  4. The other absurd thing about McDonnell’s tax increase is that they asked for the money without being able to tell us what it would be used for! Who does that? Who says “Give me a bunch of money and then we’ll figure out what to do with it later”?
    NOVA got stuck with a 20% increase in their sales tax, in addition to all the other new taxes. No one knows how that money will be spent. A group of NOVA politicians will meet and decide how it’s spent. And guess who dominates that group? Fairfax. As usual, the biggest county will get the funds. But no one knows how any of those funds will be spent. If the state had told us ahead of time exactly what the money would be spent on, and if there were any new roads in the bill and not just subway money, there may have been support for the bill. They needed to tell us what they need $6.2 for, prior to asking us to give them the money. I suppose if they told us that the bulk of it would go to Fairfax and the metro, with no new roads to ease traffic congestion, the people would never have let this terrible bill pass. The rest of the state might have objected to giving NOVA $6.2 BILLION.
    The problem in Richmond is lack of prioritizing how transportation money is spent. There’s no reason for the Crooked Road in Southside to be getting millions of dollars when only a few thousand people use it each year. Ditto
    rt 460. Lack of prioritizing. Dave LaRock wants to change that. He believes that there should be prioritizing for taxpayer dollars. I completely agree. Families across the Commonwealth do that everyday with their budgets. They must prioritize and live within their means. Why can’t we expect our elected officials in Richmond to do the same thing with the state budget, our money?

  5. The prioritization process is complex and intricate. It may be that reasonable people can differ about whether this or that project should be ranked here or there. But there is a process and it is a process that allows for public inputs. I think if you studied it for a bit, you would abandon the apparent notion you have that the revenue requirements running out into the future for transportation projects would vanish if we could only “prioritize” better.

  6. Gee, I think I know you, as I’ve heard this argument before. We’re just too stupid to understand how complex and intricate these matters are. I must have missed the public input time for the millions of dollars going to the Crooked Road. It seems my representatives did as well since my Senator thought it was anything but a priority.

    There is no system for prioritizing roads because the politicians don’t want one! I suspect you know this only too well.

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