Jan. 21--Federal prosecutors have filed crimal charges against former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.
The charges allege that the McDonnells violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former chief executive of Star Scientific, an attorney for the former governor said.
"I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility," McDonnell said in a statement.
McDonnell and members of his family received more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams.
His company was figthing a multimillion-dollar tax assessment from the state, and had used a luncheon at the Executive Mansion to help launch a new product.
"I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship. I never promised -- and Mr. Williams and his company never received -- any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration," McDonnell said.
"We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government."
The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first reported the indictments, says the McDonnells are facing 14 federal charges. If convicted, they could face more than $1 million in fines and decades in jail.
Speaker of the House William Howell said in a statement that he's disappointed, and that he has a deep respect for the former governor.
"He has served his country and Commonwealth for nearly his entire adult life," Howell said in his statement. "We know that he has always strived to serve with the utmost conviction and integrity. Admittedly, he has made mistakes in judgment. He has apologized for those actions, which we know all Virginians deeply appreciate."
"We are a nation of laws," the speaker continued. "We believe in the rule of law and are confident in the ability of our legal system to render the rightful judgment, whatever it may be. That process must be allowed to run its course without interference or impediment."
The indictment runs 43 pages, much of which is background on the case.
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Original headline: BREAKING: Ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell and wife indicted
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