Newly unsealed document reveals Maureen McDonnell’s plans to take the blame

Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-18 19:15:13-04

Richmond, Va. - A year-old declaration from one of Maureen McDonnell's lawyers was just unsealed and it could be the linchpin in former governor Bob McDonnell's appeal.

The document reveals Maureen said she was willing to take the blame for the corruption scandal, but because of the couple was tried together, she couldn't.

Maureen, 60, and her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, also 60, were convicted of numerous criminal charges in a six-week corruption trial ending in September.

The couple was found guilty of using the prestige of the governor's office to promote Richmond businessman Jonnie Williams’ tobacco-based diet supplement. In exchange, the couple and their children received cash, gifts, vacations, private-jet rides, golf outings and undocumented loans.

According to the newly unsealed document, Maureen wanted to tell the jury that she did not reveal to her husband full details about many of the gifts she received, or the value of the gifts, because she was worried he would make her give them back.

That, if true, runs counter to the prosecution's contention that the husband and wife worked together to solicit cash, gifts and loans from Williams.

The new document reveals Maureen couldn't tell the jury any of that because the same jury would then look even more unfavorably on her involvement and give her a stiffer punishment. The document says that if the governor had been tried separately, she would have testified for him, but would not have testified in her own trial.