Prosecutors oppose ex-Virginia governor’s request

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Prosecutors filed paperwork late Tuesday, opposing a request from Bob McDonnell’s attorneys to keep the former governor out of prison.

This summer, a jury found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of taking thousands of dollars in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products.

Earlier this month, McDonnell’s defense team started a letter-writing campaign to U.S. District Judge James Spencer, asking him to sentence their client to three years of unpaid community service instead of jail time.

Document: Response to Bob McDonnell’s sentencing position 

According to paperwork filed by the prosecution, since his conviction, Bob McDonnell has worked as a consultant, making $7,500 a month. He has a total monthly income of more than $12,000, the court documents said.

Last week, McDonnell’s attorneys filed hundreds of pages of letters from friends, family, community leaders and public officials. They were all in support of the former governor, describing his history of public service and his character. But in paperwork filed this week, prosecutors argued, “The fact that the defendant was able to procure 440 letters in support is not insignificant, but there are approximately 8.26 million residents in Virginia, and the defendant violated his duty of honest services to each and every one of them.”

Prosecutors called McDonnell’s testimony about his troubled marriage “salacious” and said an attempt to place blame on his wife became “gratuitous” at times. They said, “His nearly thousand-page set of sentencing materials underscores the fact that the defendant still does not believe that he committed a crime, has not expressed any contrition for his crimes, and will not relent in shifting blame for his own actions to others.”

In paperwork filed the same day, McDonnell’s defense attorneys said, “The Government’s attempt to turn Mr. McDonnell into some kind of rapacious caricature of a greedy politician in order to make its requested sentence sound reasonable itself confirms the manifest injustice such a sentence would represent.”

McDonnell’s attorneys said sending him to prison would only add to the suffering of his family and that “Mr. McDonnell has shown contrition for his poor judgment since well before the indictment, and he continued to do so at trial.”

In their argument this week, prosecutors also brought up the bribery conviction of former delegate Phillip Hamilton, and said that on the day of Hamilton’s sentencing, McDonnell said it was a reminder that no one is above the law. Prosecutors said the court’s sentence in McDonnell’s case should be a reminder of that too.

WAVY News left messages for prosecutors and defense attorneys about the latest filings, but they did not respond.

Bob McDonnell will be sentenced January 6 in Richmond on 11 counts. Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing on eight counts in February.

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