(Richmond, VA) – Charged with 14 counts of corruption, former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) could have accepted a plea deal in December 2013 which would have found him guilty of one count. Accepting the plea deal would have guaranteed his wife, Maureen, no charges.
Instead, McDonnell – who was once considered to be Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) running mate on the 2012 presidential ticket – decided to channel former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) and “fight, fight, fight.”
The verdicts read in court on Thursday? Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
As for Maureen McDonnell? Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
So ended the McDonnellgate 28-day trial during which both McDonnells saw their reputations irreparably slandered and destroyed, often by the testimony of their own relatives.
McDonnell misused his elected office to provide $120,000 in loans to businessman Jonnie R. Williams, Sr. Williams was lavished with other perks as well, including golf dates.
McDonnell still maintains his innocence, stating after leaving the courthouse, “All I can say is my trust remains in the Lord.”
“That’s a good thing for him,” said a McDonnell detractor, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Because the Lord is going to send him straight to Hades!”
McDonnell’s attorney said the 11 guilty verdicts were “unexpected” and disappointing.
“Sure, if the guy had any sense, he’d have been planning for 14 guilty verdicts,” said a law professor who closely followed the trial, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the entire trial – from its root causes to its multiple guilty verdicts.
“Most of all, McAuliffe is very, very happy that he’s not the one facing 20 years in jail,” said a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), speaking on condition of anonymity.
When being sentenced on January 6, 2015, both McDonnells potentially face decades in jail. But experts say that a long sentence isn’t likely.
“First of all, Governor McDonnell sat and wept as the guilty verdicts were announced,” said an employee for the labor law practice of Littler Mendelson, speaking on condition of anonymity. “That’s to his advantage. The judge will take that into account, just like that judge who put Lindsay Lohan away for 12 minutes because of her crying.
“Second, you have people like Chris Brown – who beat the crap out of his girlfriend [Rihanna] – walking the streets. Are you going to tell me that McDonnell is more dangerous to society than Brown?”
An attorney at the law firm of Hogan Lovells agreed.
“They’re eligible for at least 20 years in prison,” said the Hogan Lovells attorney, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I’d be surprised if either of them serve one day in jail. After all, the trial was so traumatic for them!”
Lawyers for both McDonnells have said they will appeal the verdicts.
“They can go ahead,” said an average, ordinary, everyday Virginian, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Neither of them are appealing to anyone at this point.”