Here's a reminder of what Rachel Maddow said awhile ago: “So it turns out there is a smoking gun in [Va. Gov. 'Ultrasound' McDonnell] case. Want to see it?” And here's a brief recap of what's been going on, via a previous post, In “ominous sign” for Gov. “Ultrasound” McDonnell, his (former) BFF donor is cooperating with prosecutors:
Gov. Ultrasound has been evasive and dishonest about accepting a lot of fancy schmancy gifts and lots of cash from his supporters… one in particular, Jonnie Williams, chief executive of Star Scientific.
And in return, Gov. Ultrasound does them favors. But now he’s in a whole lot of hot legal water, so he has apologized but claimed that they weren’t all gifts, no, they were loans, no they were gifts and loans, and he’s returning the gifts and the loans, because, damn you caught me red handed even though I didn’t do anything wrong, trust me!
And now, WaPo is reporting something we pretty much already knew, and that is -- ta daa!-- McDonnell knew about the gifts:
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell was aware of gifts and financial help provided by a wealthy Richmond area businessman during the same months the governor and his wife took steps to help his company, according to people familiar with documents and interviews gathered by federal investigators.
For example, McDonnell (R) was present at a charity auction in 2011 when the chief executive of Star Scientific, which makes a dietary supplement, successfully bid on a fashion tour of New York for the governor’s wife in front of a crowd of onlookers, witnesses said.
Separately, the executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., flew the governor and his wife on a weekend trip to Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, over Labor Day weekend last year. And Williams repeatedly allowed the governor, his sons and staff to play golf and buy golf gear at elite Richmond area country clubs, running up more than $7,000 on Williams’s tab, according to the documents turned over to authorities. [...]
People familiar with accounts that Williams and others have provided to investigators, as well as witnesses interviewed by The Post, say each of those gifts came with the governor’s knowledge — contrasting with an assertion by McDonnell’s attorneys that he was in the dark about the extent of the gifts Williams bestowed on his family.
Oops. How does it feel to get probed, Gov. Ultrasound?
And all this time Mrs. Ultrasound was claiming innocence, "in part because of this ignorance, people familiar with the sessions said."
The only thing the governor and his
better worse half were ignorant about was how obvious it was that their misdeeds were unethical and likely illegal. Prosecutors will decide whether to file charges after further meetings with McDonnell's legal team.
Please read all the gory details here.