Former governor Bob McDonnell is responding to the federal charges he and his wife now face.
With Maureen McDonnell by his side, McDonnell spoke to reporters Tuesday night in Richmond. He adamantly denied breaking any laws when he took gifts and cash from businessman Jonnie Williams.
"I will use every available resource and advocate that I have," McDonnell said, "for as long as it takes to fight and prevail against these false allegations and the unjust overreach of the federal government."
Tuesday night, his lawyers filed court documents saying what McDonnell did is no different than the conduct of the majority of other elected officials.
Now they want all the recordings of grand jury testimony to fight the charges.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife have been indicted on federal corruption charges.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, says McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday. The 14-count indictment includes conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges.
McDonnell left office earlier this month after four years in the governor's office. Virginia law limits governors to a single term. McDonnell issued a statement about the indictment.
"My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific," McDonnell wrote in the statement. "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. However, 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. 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."
A federal investigation overshadowed the final months in office for this once-rising star of the Republican Party, with authorities looking into gifts he and his family received from a political donor.
In July, McDonnell apologized and said he had returned more than $120,000 in loans and other gifts from Johnnie Williams, the CEO of pharmaceutical company Star Scientific. The Washington Post was the first to report the story.
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), House Majority Leader M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) issued a joint statement Tuesday:
"We are very disappointed by the news today. We have all known Bob McDonnell for a long time. He is a good friend whom we deeply respect. He has served his country and Commonwealth for nearly his entire adult life. 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. 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.
"We are all praying for Governor McDonnell and his family during this difficult time."