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Rachel Maddow Looks At Anti-Gay Former VA Governor Bob McDonnell's Dramatic Sentencing Hearing: VIDEO

Maddow

As we reported yesterday, anti-gay former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell was sentenced to only two years in prison after being convicted on 11 counts of corruption this past September. The sentencing was somewhat of a shock to observers, as McDonnell had originally faced up to two decades in prison for his crimes. Even after the sentencing guidelines were reduced to between six-and-a-half and eight years, the final sentence still fell dramatically short of the minimum recommended incarceration period.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow dug into the bizarre and dramatic moments in the courtroom during yesterday's hearing, including a look into the fraught politics of McDonnell's marriage. You'll recall his wife was also convicted of corruption and was chosen as the scapegoat for Mr. McDonnell by both his lawyers and other members of his family, including his daughter.

Find out about McDonnell's day in court, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay Former VA Governor Bob McDonnell Sentenced To Two Years For Corruption

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(Photo via Twitter)

Anti-gay former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after being convicted in September on charges of corruption. While McDonnell had originally faced up to two decades in prison, the maximum possible sentence was reduced by Judge R. Spencer to between six-and-a-half and eight years. The New York Times reports:

For hour upon hour before sentence was passed, the court heard accounts of Mr. McDonnell’s good deeds, and the judge said they were a mitigating factor. But, he said: “A price must be paid. It breaks my heart.” 

Mr. McDonnell, who arrived in court with two of his daughters, looked on silently through the hours of testimony from friends and former associates. He was the last to address the court.

“I stand before you as a heartbroken and humbled man,” he said, as many supporters in the packed courtroom dabbed at their eyes with tissues.

Mr. McDonnell said his life in the governor’s mansion had become unbalanced. Now, he said, he will dedicate the rest of his life “newly to service.”

McDonnell’s wife was also convicted on corruption charges and still awaits sentencing. Mr. McDonnell, along with other members of the family, alleged it was Lady Macbeth who was to blame, having introduced Mr. McDonnell to Virginia businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. who eventually gave the couple “$120,000 in low-interest loans, paid for much of the wedding of their daughter Cailin McDonnell Young, bought a Rolex for the governor, picked up bills for golf outings and lent them his Ferrari.” However, Judge Spencer, perhaps making a biblical allusion, insisted that Mr. McDonnell still bore the blame for his crime:

Judge Spencer, referring to Mr. Williams, said Ms. McDonnell “may have let the serpent into the mansion.” But the governor, he said, let Mr. Williams into his financial affairs

Upon release, Mr. McDonnell will face two years of supervision. The prison term and the supervision are all well below the recommended sentencing guidelines, which could have put the former governor behind bars for up to 20 years, and less than the 78 months sought by the government.

“The Jonnie Williams of the world are a dime a dozen," Michael Dry, a lead prosecutor in the case, told the court. “Corrupt governors are not. But when we find one,” he said, the official must be brought to justice. When Mr. Dry left the courtroom, his face was twisted in anger. He declined to comment.

During his tenure as Governor McDonnell had been a vocal opponent of both gay adoption and providing protections for LGBT individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity


Rachel Maddow Looks at the Fall of Anti-gay, 'Family Man' Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: VIDEO

Maddow

Following former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's conviction Thursday in the corruptions trial surrounding his use of political office for personal gain, Rachel Maddow took a look back at McDonnell's journey from Pat Robertson-approved 'family values' politician to throw-your-wife-under-the-bus courtroom defendant.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

McDonnell and his wife could face two decades in prison on the 14-count corruption indictment when they are sentenced on Jan 6. 

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Looks at the Fall of Anti-gay, 'Family Man' Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: VIDEO" »


Former VA Governor Bob McDonnell Convicted on Corruption Charges in Federal Court: VIDEO

Mcdonnell

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted Thursday on 11 of 14 corruption charges while his wife was convicted of eight, the NYT reports:

The 7-man, 5-woman jury returned its findings on its third day of deliberations in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The McDonnells were acquitted of lesser charges of making false statements on loan applications. Ms. McDonnell was convicted on a charge she alone faced, of obstructing a grand jury investigation by trying to make a gift of $20,000 worth of designer dresses and shoes appear to have been a loan. .

The McDonnells were indicted on 14 counts of conspiracy, bribery, extortion and related charges stemming from what prosecutors said was a scheme to sell the office of governor, which Mr. McDonnell occupied through January this year, for $177,000 in gifts and cash from a dietary supplements executive.

Sentencing is set for January. The couple could face decades in jail.

Rachel Maddow detailed the charges in January and how the indictments all went down. Check out her segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Former VA Governor Bob McDonnell Convicted on Corruption Charges in Federal Court: VIDEO" »


Rachel Maddow Tracks the Felony Indictment That May Send Bob McDonnell to Jail for Decades: VIDEO

Mcdonnell_maddow

Late yesterday, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged in federal corruption probe, the WaPo reported:

McdonnellFormer Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were charged Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond area businessman who sought special treatment from state government.

Authorities allege that for nearly two years, the McDonnells repeatedly asked executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. for loans and gifts of money, clothes, golf fees and equipment, trips, and private plane rides. The gifts and loans totaled at least $165,000.

In exchange, authorities allege, the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governor’s office to Williams’s struggling company, Star Scientific, a former small cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.

The couple faces a maximum 14-count indictment that could send the couple to prison for decades.

Rachel Maddow tracks how it all went down, AFTER THE JUMP...

Ugly, ugly stuff.

Continue reading "Rachel Maddow Tracks the Felony Indictment That May Send Bob McDonnell to Jail for Decades: VIDEO" »


Governor McDonnell Unmoved by New Poll That Shows Most Virginians Favor Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Adoption

Virginia

A new Washington Post poll shows Virginians now support allowing gay people to marry and adopt children:

Forty-seven percent of Virginians say gay couples should be allowed to legally wed, and 43 percent are opposed, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent of Virginians say gay couples should be able to legally adopt children.

The results mirror a dramatic and rapid shift in national public opinion about gay rights in recent years. The evolving public opinion could create a challenge in the key political battleground for the commonwealth’s Republicans, who are almost universally opposed to gay marriage, if voters think the GOP is falling out of sync with the electorate.

Anti-gay Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell doesn't want to hear about it:

“The people of Virginia have spoken by a margin of 57-43. They’ve already enshrined in the Virginia Constitution that gay marriage is not permitted, so unless there is another effort to change the Constitution, that matter is settled. That is the law of the land and, look, reasonable people can disagree on these things. That’s what the law is now. That’s something that I support. That was the right decision.”


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