Virginia’s McDonnell turns to high-powered defense attorney

Virginia's McDonnell turns to high-powered defense attorney
Virginia's McDonnell turns to high-powered defense attorney
Associated Press

As if Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) didn’t have enough to worry about, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports today that the governor’s airfare to a NCAA March Madness game in 2011 may have been paid for by Jonnie Williams Sr., “the political donor whose gifts to the McDonnell family have attracted federal scrutiny.”

At the time, the article added, McDonnell’s office indicated that his political action committee was covering the tab, but the travel expenses now appears to have been underwritten by the same guy who bought the governor’s Rolex, purchased the governor’s wife’s $10,000 suede jacket, and covered the governor’s daughter’s wedding.

The next logical step would be for McDonnell to spend some quality time with an excellent defense attorney, and wouldn’t you know it, the governor is doing exactly that.

He’s represented the administration of President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings.

Now he’s one of the attorneys counseling Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, besieged by state and federal investigations into gifts he and his family have received while in office.

High-powered Washington lawyer Emmet T. Flood was in Richmond at the Executive Mansion Tuesday to speak with McDonnell.

Flood is a partner in one of DC’s most powerful law firms (Williams and Connolly); he represented Dick Cheney when the former vice president’s office outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative; and Flood served as deputy White House counsel to George W. Bush when his West Wing was engulfed in a series of scandals.

And now Flood is helping McDonnell, which is no doubt a good move for the governor, but also, as the Times Dispatch put it, “underscores the gravity of the governor’s legal challenges.”