‘I feel vindicated’: Former Va. Gov. McDonnell speaks to ’60 Minutes’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s 2014 corruption conviction in June 2016, however Chief Justice John Roberts described McDonnell’s case as “tawdry tales.”

McDonnell discussed the case that cost the former Republican politician his reputation and $27 million in legal fees in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday.

McDonnell and his wife accepted $177,000 worth of gifts and loans from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams.

“At this point, I feel vindicated,” McDonnell told “60 Minutes.”

“My job was just to connect people with government and I considered it a routine part of what I did — for job creation, and just regular constituent service.”

“Is that what it takes to get the attention of you guys — somebody coughing up that kind of money,” asked CBS correspondent Bill Whittaker.

“No,” said McDonnell. “That is an everyday action in America and I know it to be true from years in politics.”

But when asked if the issue fit the churchgoer’s moral code, McDonnell replied, “If I’d do it over again, I was governor, I wouldn’t take any gifts. I didn’t need them.”

According to the program, McDonnell’s case is being used by other politicians to fight bribery convictions in New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Louisiana.

Watch the full “60 Minutes” interview below.

And take a look at what “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker had to say about interviewing the former governor on the program’s weekly web show, “60 Minutes Overtime.”

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. 

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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