Despite the nearly 450 people who begged leniency on his behalf—including his totally chill, well-spoken daughters—former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was sentenced today to two years in prison on corruption charges.
Let's take a quick look back, shall we? McDonnell was found guilty of trading favors for money and lavish gifts from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., who was working to promote his vitamin supplement business. According to the Times:
Throughout the trial, defense lawyers portrayed the McDonnells as incapable of conspiring with Mr. Williams because the two had such a bad marriage. Mr. Williams gave the couple $120,000 in low-interest loans, paid for much of the wedding of their daughter Cailin McDonnell Young, bought a Rolex for the governor, picked up bills for golf outings and lent them his Ferrari. Mr. McDonnell's lawyers portrayed Ms. McDonnell as a "nutbag" so taken with Mr. Williams that she had lost general control of her office and marriage.
He initially faced up to 20 years in prison, but the range was eventually lowered; McDonnell's lawyers had hoped to get him off with community service. Although that proved to be a pipe dream, the Times reports that Judge James R. Spencer of Federal District Court heard numerous testimonies to McDonnell's good works and general menschy-ness, which factored in to the lesser sentence. The judge also appeared to believe that Maureen McDonnell is, in fact, a "nutbag":
Judge Spencer, referring to Mr. Williams, said Ms. McDonnell "may have let the serpent into the mansion." But the governor, he said, let Mr. Williams into his financial affairs.
Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing in February, the same month her husband will surrender to the state. The Times called this trial "one of the most spectacular falls of a statewide elected official in the history of the commonwealth," and it has indeed been gripping as hell—family gets taken down by a Vitamin Man, throws crazy ole' mom under the proverbial bus.
See you guys next month for the next chapter in this never-ending American saga, tentatively titled Bitter McDonnell Daughters Throw Rotten Vegetables At Maureen During Her Prison Sentencing.
Image via Associated Press