Sentencing for former GOP Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was handed down Tuesday afternoon by a federal judge. He could have seen 20 years in prison, the government wanted at least 10 years, the judge limited the maximum to 6 1/2 to 8 years, and Bob here ended up with 2 years prison and 2 years probation.
For hour upon hour before sentence was passed, the court heard accounts of Mr. McDonnell’s good works, and the judge said they were a mitigating factor. But, he said: “A price must be paid. It breaks my heart.”
Nearly 450 people, including Mr. McDonnell’s relatives and their friends, had written letters seeking leniency to Judge Spencer. Some spoke of the former governor’s generosity with the homeless. Others noted his devotion to the Roman Catholic Church. Still others said he had always taken care to notice the lowest rungs of the political ladder during campaigns.
Most striking were the letters from Mr. McDonnell’s family members. One daughter, Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, wrote to Judge Spencer blaming her mother, Maureen McDonnell, who was also convicted of various charges and is to be sentenced in late February.
Ms. McDonnell “has always been concerned about getting discounts or freebies,” Ms. Zubowsky wrote.
“This was one of the main reasons she would not communicate with him,” she said. “She hid her coordination with people for free or discounted things or services, and she didn’t communicate with my dad because she knew he would not approve.”
Ms. Zubowsky offered another reason for leniency, noting that she is to give birth to his grandchild soon.
As Leo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort said in "Wolf of Wall Street" after being sentenced and facing the prospect of actual prison, "Then I remembered. I'm rich."
McDonnell's angling to stay out of prison on bond pending appeal, so who knows if he'll even go to jail. Bonus points too for McDonnell's daughter freely throwing her own mother under the Virginia Department of Corrections bus to save dear ol' dad. Mrs. McDonnell's sentencing is February 20th, by the way.
That's going to be a fun hearing, I think.