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UPDATE: Gov. McDonnell Talks About Gifts

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August 1, 2013


For the second time this week, Governor Bob McDonnell addressed the repayment of gifts his family received from a wealthy donor. Those gifts from Star Scientific CEO Johnnie Williams went to McDonnell, his wife, and two of their daughters.

In all, the family received over two hundred thousand dollars in clothes, watches, and loans. It was previously reported that McDonnell's daughter, Jeanine, received ten grand for an engagement gift from Williams. On Thursday, McDonnell explained what that gift entailed.

"Actually, It was her husband who got a gift for a tool party, a pre-engagement tool party, about five months before the wedding," McDonnell said. "He returned his gift last week."


Governor Bob McDonnell says two of his daughters, Cailin and Jeanine, repaid wedding gifts to political donor and corporate CEO Jonnie Williams with their own money. But he ruled out repaying the state for legal bills totaling $53,530.

Lawyers for the governor have asked the Commonwealth for $53,000, payment for their work in the case against former Executive Chef Todd Schneider.

During his monthly radio appearance Thursday on Richmond-based WRVA, McDonnell said the legal defense fund friends have established for him will help pay his private legal bills.

Legal fees have arisen from federal and state investigations into the thousands of dollars in gifts the McDonnell family has received from Williams and whether the governor used his authority to benefit Williams' company, Star Scientific.

Governor McDonnell has said in a series of interviews that he is returning all the tangible gifts from Williams still in his possession.

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