Va.'s McDonnell to Feds: Can You Indict Me Next Month?

US Attorney was ready to charge sitting governor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 8:56 AM CST
Va.'s McDonnell to Feds: Can You Indict Me Next Month?
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell recites his name and address for the poll worker ad he and his wife Maureen arrive to vote at the main library in Richmond, Va., Nov. 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

This was almost the week that, for the first time in state history, a sitting Virginia governor was indicted. US Attorney Dana Boente told Bob McDonnell last week that they were about to file charges against him and his wife related to the ongoing gifts scandal surrounding them, but McDonnell's lawyers staved off the charges by going over Boente's head to the Justice Department, the Washington Post reports. McDonnell's lawyers argued that he'd done nothing wrong, and that, even if he had, prosecutors should wait until he left office on Jan. 11.

A day after meeting with McDonnell's lawyers, the DOJ told McDonnell that it was holding off. Sources say a decision on whether to press charges now won't come down until Jan. 2 at the earliest, and could drag into February. To allow for that delay, McDonnell's attorneys have agreed to extend the statute of limitations on lesser state charges; a special prosecutor is waiting on the feds to proceed. In the meantime, McDonnell gets to keep on governing; today he'll unveil a two-year budget, WTVR reports. Among other items, it's expected to boost mental health funding, which is a hot button topic in the wake of Creigh Deeds' stabbing. (Read more Bob McDonnell stories.)

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