Monday, February 03, 2014

Part II: What the government didn't say in the McDonnell indictment

... is that their case is built upon a questionable witness.

See also Part I.

The Restoration Fund notes that the Government indictment against Governor McDonnell is long on sensationalism and short on facts or the law.  Perhaps this is because the bulk of the case is built upon the claims from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, a man with over three decades of legal and ethical problems.

Democratic strategist Paul Goldman has some very interesting thoughts (see below) about this case, definitely worthy of reading especially for the research and investigative hounds in the media and blogger ranks.

Bob McDonnell's legal team lays it out in Part II.
As previously noted, an outside audit from a former Democratic Attorney General and a Washington Post FOIA request have already confirmed that Star Scientific nor Jonnie Williams received any tangible benefit.

But who is Jonnie Williams?

Former Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Paul Goldman penned an excellent analysis on Jonnie Williams and his "playing the prosecutors" on the case regarding Governor Bob McDonnell.

Mr. Goldman also refers to the "curious media failure" that has largely ignored the mountain of questionable ethical, business and legal problems that have followed Mr. Willliams for over three decades. Bob McDonnell's reputation built over four decades of public service to Virginia and the nation, in the U.S. Army, as a prosecutor, Delegate, Attorney General, and now Governor, is being directly challenged by the government's indictment. It is only fair that his accuser be given the proper examination to weigh the validity and truthfulness of the claimant.

Please take time to read the excerpts of Goldman's story below and the link to WTVR's story.

If you wish to support the Governor during this period and want to contribute to his legal defense fund, please visit us at

The Restoration Fund
GOLDMAN: Were federal prosecutors conned into pursuing Governor McDonnell?

Excerpts from Paul Goldman's research.

"I didn't vote for Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. But something never 'smelled' right about the unprecedented Department of Justice's relentless investigation into a popular Republican Governor during a gubernatorial election year.

"There isn't much genuine bipartisanship left anymore on tough issues. So it seemed useful for me to prepare an article showing the McDonnell investigation had not actually tainted the election outcome prior to today's results.

"But the research -- on my own without any compensation -- revealed a troubling picture I frankly never expected. All avenues of research confirmed the Washington Post's observation that the 'key question for prosecutors is who is most believable about the interactions between the governor and Williams.' "


Prior to the McDonnell investigation, Star Scientific faced a relentless federal probe into years of questionable company stock transactions. This probe could have proven ruinous to Star along with Mr. Williams. But once Star's founder began fully cooperating with the Governor's pursuers, the securities probe seemingly faded away, the company telling shareholders not to worry.

As famed New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once said, some things are simply too coincidental to be a coincidence.


With all due respect to reporters who have covered this unprecedented story, the inexplicable failure by the Virginia media to provide the necessary in-depth profile examinations of Mr. Williams is self-evident. He claims to know evidence capable of taking down the Virginia Governor. An "MRI" examination into Mr. Williams thus became a basic journalistic obligation. His relevant history discussed below is easily accessible to any interested journalist.

It leads to the next question, "Is it possible prosecutors are equally in the dark or possess insufficient interest in this history?"

Moreover, federal prosecutors have ready access to countless federal and state documents not available to me over the Internet, assuming someone even knew they existed. The mainstream media also given their resources and confidential sources.

Given this failure, the people of Virginia have been left without the necessary information as regards the answer to the fundamental question: Just who, the heck, is the real Jonnie Williams?  

He has been called a "genius" with "an uncanny ability" to see a central path to a solution that other highly trained people have missed.

On the other hand, the website cites a little-known newspaper article quoting a former employee of Williams saying, "Jonnie Williams could sell a snowball to an Eskimo."

However, "when it came to backing up what he was selling, now that was another story. Let's face it, he was a salesman through and through." This description, given repeatedly during his business career, comes from a newspaper story about him in 1981.  


Prosecutors apparently believe Williams' claims that McDonnell tried to get the Virginia Tobacco Commission to fund Star-friendly research. But Williams' lawyer is twin brother to a long-time Commission powerbroker, now its Chairman. Why would he need the Governor? Besides, a search of the Commission website suggests those types of projects didn't  readily if ever received funding.

Judge Sol Wachtler famously said a prosecutor can indict a "ham sandwich." But would any sensible prosecutor invest money with Mr. Williams or tell a sick relative to stop taking prescription medicine and switch to a Star product?

"He was a very slick salesman," said David Muller, who competed with Williams back in the 1990's. Williams is "the guy who could sell snowballs in Alaska," Muller told Bloomberg News. 

Sensing prosecutors believed McDonnell "dirty," did Jonnie cleverly put a different "spin" on benign yet dumb actions to get them to give him a "get out of jail" free card? Given his history, at a minimum any reasonable person must have substantial and legitimate concerns.


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