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from TIME Magazine,

Ex-governor charged with trading favors.

The downfall began with a dress. When Bob McDonnell won the governorship of Virginia in 2009, his wife Maureen wanted something fancy to wear to the inauguration. So she made a request of a campaign donor, according to federal prosecutors: Might he buy her a designer gown for the occasion? The donor agreed. Though the arrangement was scuttled by a wary aide, Maureen McDonnell informed the donor that she would take a “rain check.”

Did she ever. Over the next two years, prosecutors say, Bob and Maureen McDonnell solicited and received more than $140,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, a wealthy executive, in exchange for advancing the interests of his company. A 14-count indictment filed Jan. 21 alleges that the former governor and his wife sought a variety of special favors from Williams: dresses by Oscar de la Renta, posh golf outings, personal loans and free plane rides. The governor received an engraved silver Rolex; his wife dropped nearly $20,000 of Williams’ cash on a Manhattan shopping spree.

McDonnell denies any wrongdoing. “We did not violate the law,” he said after the indictment was announced, and he vowed to “use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations.” A lawyer for his wife says she too is innocent. Williams has not been charged and is reportedly cooperating with prosecutors.

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