Conservative Virginia radio host John Fredericks urged Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell to resign as federal prosecutors look into whether McDonnell aided a company whose CEO gave his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and money.
Fredericks has been a consistent supporter of McDonnell during the growing scandal, but said that a Sunday story by The Washington Post changed his mind.
“The latest revelations of Star Scientific stock purchases and sales and repurchase shenanigans by Maureen McDonnell to avoid Virginia’s only safeguard — financial disclosures — is a trampling and mocking of the public trust,” Fredericks said in an interview with Ben Tribbett on WHKT AM 1650 Monday morning. “The legality of these financial moves is moot. It’s about trust — and I believe the McDonnells have now given that away.”
Former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and the Charlottesville newspaper Daily Progress have both called for McDonnell’s resignation, but Fredericks is offering some of the first public opposition among conservative circles in Virginia.
Prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., are examining claims by McDonnell’s legal team that he was not aware of the gifts from nutrition company Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, Sr.
“The concept — and claim — that Bob McDonnell did not know what his wife was doing with tens of thousands of dollars is laughable and intellectually disingenuous,” Fredericks said.
“This is not the Clintons. The McDonnells are not wealthy; they are a family with five kids of limited means,” he continued. “The governor spent his adult life focused on public service, not building wealth. More to the point, they are inseparable and very close. To think that Bob did not know what Maureen was spending $30,000 on when he’s borrowing money to save a real estate firm is just not a credible defense. You can’t slip a piece of paper between the two when they are together.”