Judge Gives Former Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell Slap On The Wrist In Felony Case

Maureen McDonnell

Friday, in a Richmond Court House, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer sentenced former Virginia First Lady, Maureen McDonnell, to 12 months plus one day in prison, on nine federal corruption charges. The judge sentenced her to an additional two years of supervised probation. He also allowed her to stay out of jail pending appeal. In contrast to the judge’s light sentence, federal sentencing guidelines called for 63 to 78 months in prison. Prosecutors had asked for an 18-month sentence.

Judge Spencer was also very lenient with Maureen’s husband, former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, who was convicted on 11 counts of corruption charges. In January, Spencer sentenced Bob McDonnell to two years in prison, far less than the 10-12 year sentence recommended by the federal probation office, or the 6 1/2 years federal prosecutors asked for.

Judge Spencer was appointed to the federal bench in 1986, by Republican President Ronald Reagan. Although the judge directed some harsh words to the McDonnells during the hearings, his sentences amounted to a proverbial slap on the wrist.

The McDonnell sentences contrast sharply to the 9 1/2 year sentence Phillip Hamilton (R), an ex-Virginia delegate, was given by George W. Bush appointee, Henry Hudson in 2011. Hamilton was convicted of bribery and extortion. His 9 1/2 year sentence was still less than the 12 1/2 years prosecutors had recommended, but it was much harsher than the sentences meted out by Judge Spencer to the McDonnells.

Maureen McDonnell seemed to continue shirking responsibility for her actions, during the sentencing hearing. Although she did briefly mention that she blamed nobody but herself, she quickly pivoted to pointing her finger at businessman Johnnie Williams. Maureen McDonnell referred to Williams as a snake, who ”has poisoned my marriage, has poisoned my family and has poisoned the commonwealth that I love.”

The McDonnells took over 70,00 dollars worth of bribes. They violated the public trust at the taxpayer’s expense. Yet, in their sentencing hearings, a Reagan-appointed federal judge seemed moved by the need to extend compassion to the corrupt Governor and his equally lawless wife. Each received sentences well below the federal guidelines for their crimes.

The public should be quick to recognize that when rich and powerful Republicans go on trial before a Republican appointed Judge, the court suddenly is moved to show unusual mercy for convicted criminals. By giving the McDonnells each a mild slap on the wrist, instead of lengthy prison terms, Judge Spencer has opened the door for more government corruption in the years ahead. Sadly, the low odds of serving serious time for public corruption might make taking a few bribes, here and there, worth the risk for the next wave of unscrupulous GOP politicians.


13 Replies to “Judge Gives Former Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell Slap On The Wrist In Felony Case”

  1. Look at the scum d’Souza..got ‘house arrest’ for a felony, and is allowed to be all over social media, on TV spouting his outrage and lies, and hawking his book. He’ll come out of his ‘sentence’ even wealthier and more well-known than before he was convicted, with nary a ruffled hair on his head.
    It does remind me of all the careful and criminally responsible gun owners, who leave their weapons loaded and unlocked and easily accessible, and then a child is shot. But inevitably, no charges are pressed, because ‘the family is suffering enough from this accident.’ No, they are not. Until we hold people accountable for their actions, all these activities will continue and get worse. What kind of America does the GOP want? Lawless and stupid (and dead.)

  2. If her appeal fails, won’t she have to serve her full sentence? I was under the impression since it was a federal conviction, there is no early release.
    They both deserve this for just being idiots.

  3. When you elect judges who depend on bribes of course they can be bought. Now I don’t know if this was a state or federal case but it is what it is

  4. I suspect that these appeals could go on for years,and after a few years go by and we’ve all forgotten about it,they’ll just simply walk free. [WINK]

  5. a republicon appointed judge doling out justice to a republicon politician is proof that it’s who you know when justice [or injustice] is meted out

  6. She wasn’t an elected official, so I’m not too surprised at the lighter sentence. Remember how her husband and kids threw her under the bus, too—so maybe there’s a little sympathy percolating through the system for her. I’m OK with her reputation being ruined and her future shattered–it’s still great that any of these corrupt, greedy SOBs got some actual time in the slam!

  7. This is a joke!!!!! 9 felonies for her and 11 for her husband….and a total of 3 years for the both of them in which they will probably only do half of that. This Judge should be stripe of her license. It’s so much corruptions when it comes to lawyers and people in high positions such as senators that it’s ridiculous. They will do this “easy-time” and be out relaxing in the Bahamas in no time living their luxury lives. The “justice system” is so……justice…I luv it!!! #VirginiaIsForLovers………. And WHITE- collar crimes…..lol

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