tv QA CSPAN September 27, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
dinnerlook at that state with the chinese president. then republican presidential candidates, texas senator ted cruz, and ♪ >> this week on q&a, political reporter tom sherwood. politicsood who covers in washington, d.c. talks about political corruption in d.c., maryland, and virginia. tom sherwood, after 41 years of covering washington, d.c., as you look at, what was the biggest scandal? tom: no doubt it is the marion bearer -- marion barry years. captured people from the 1980's
to the 1990's. brian: you surprised -- are you surprised at all that they want to change the high school name to marion barry high school? he died a year ago and there is a plan to try to give some kind of acknowledgment of him in all four quadrants of the city. held as a heros for the things he did and he embarrassed the people that .oved him i am not surprised. i think marion barry was a big figure. watch road turns as mayor and s as turns -- four turn mayor and as city council. brian: because there are a number of officials from virginia, not from virginia yet, but from maryland, public officials that are in jail. we wanted to do an update.
i have somewith -- video of you interviewing someone that the audience might remember because of his father, ron brown. this is michael brown. he is in prison where? prison in in a small alabama. a minimum security prison. it was a spectacular falling for michael brown. he had all of the gifts you could possibly want. from his father, ron brown who was :00 -- so close to clinton. michael brown was not a lawyer. but he was paid a lot of money to work with law firms. he was elected to the council. he ran on his father's name. he was on the city council. tom: what brought him down was that he was offered -- he offered to help two businessman get through the maze of contracting in the city.
what he did not realize was that the two businessman were fbi agents and he took bribes. brian: in 2012, you interviewed him on kojo nnamdi show. [video clip] do not feel that you or the councilmembers were mayor at this point have a strong opinion that the ethics laws need to be enforced. committeenew ethics that still does not have an office space. it has to start working this fall. it seems like ethics is a back burner issue when it should be the engine. it is backknow if burner, tom, i understand what you are saying. as we deal with ethics and campaign finances which are two separate issues -- brian: not in the best tom: not in the public's mind. >> we have seen -- we have not
seen a lot of evidence of pay or play politics. i have not seen that. officehe used to have an in this building. a very nice guy to see every day. what happened to him? corrupt.as it is unfortunate but he was corrupt. he skated through a lot of his life because of his father's reputation. he had doors open to him where people -- that people would cry to have open for them. he fell in love with dressing well and having fancy cars. and acting up and having a good time as a public official. something went off in his brain or he did not have it to begin with. that money isy the milk of politics, the mother's milk of politics, it is. it is a cliche that it is true. brian: how did he get the money?
was a cash? --was it cash? there was money in a washington redskins can. he got the money. look at the delight on his face even there. as a citizen of this city, which gets maligned in this nation as a corrupt town, looking at his face like that, it annoys the hell out of me. life.erson wasted his he is smart. he had access. and he could have done a lot for the city but instead he chose to do for himself. brian: the former governor of maryland died. we have some video from back in 2015 which came to me a short time ago. it is from mbc baltimore. martin mandel also went to prison. tom: he did. brian: it was commuted.
i will ask you about that in a moment. [video clip] >> his local career started when the political machine helped him to get appointed to a vacant house in the maryland house of delegates. he became house speaker in 1963. when governor's bureau at new agnewed -- when spiro resigned, he was appointed to serve out the rest of the term. his accomplishments were over shouted --over overshadowed. >> the record will show that during my administration, nothing was ever done to defraud the public of the state of maryland. >> federal prosecutors claim cash, favors,ed and gives, in exchange for pushing through legislation that would benefit the old owners of
the race track in george's county. brian: what can you say about him? tom: a fabulous politician. like marion barry but i do not need to compare the two except wrote that marvin mandel his own book in 2010, and accidental politician. things happened. iro agnew just happen to be ignited. -- indicted. he knew people. he was a classic politician. statenged the way the paid for education. he changed things so there was a clear understanding of how we fund the schools in maryland. he took a state government with over 250 agencies, a morass of
agencies, very little organization structure. he changed it to 12 department heads. a cabinet that would report to the governor about what was happening. he did a lot of things like that to make the state become much more modernized. it was a rural backwater before. brian: he did go to prison. tom: he did because he got caught up in the racetrack in prince george's county which is a suburb of washington. it needed more racing days. the number of days a racetrack could have is depended -- is dependence. the racetrack was going bankrupt. some of his friends, i am not sure how much he had to do with bill killed in the legislature that would allow them to have more racing days. these same friends went and bought the racetrack and then they got permission for more racing days and made a fortune.
they could sell the racetrack for a lot more money. and that is what the prosecutors went after mandel for. in the process, he got money for helping that. it was later overturned. i am not a lawyer so i don't want to get into why it was overturned. he served 19 months in prison. it was overturned because there was another case in new jersey or somewhere else where the prosecutors had reached too far to say he was correct. gotn: this is the case that to the supreme court and went back to the appeals court. very confusing. tom: ronald reagan commuted his sentence. brian: he is still a hero a stomach coverage in maryland -- based on the coverage in maryland. at politicians, and we sometimes have a rosy view. looking at donald trump. i'm going to do this and that and i cannot be bought. politicians have to do a lot of
compromising to get things done. done, just asngs marion barry did and bob mcdonnell got things done in virginia, when you are exposed to having some corruption or crime, the people who are most involved, those who benefited from you being governor or mayor, give you more balance on that. mandel was a remarkable, personal politician, like the -- like clinton. you were a friend for life. same thing with bill clinton and marion barry. when people have a built-up history like that, the fact that they do something wrong does not wipe the slate clean. brian: we are in maryland for the moment. can you remember spiro agnew? tom: i remember him. i do not know why he was picked as vice presidential candidate. he cheated money for groceries. corruptionl potato
color his time. small potato corruption. michael brown, the councilman we talked about a moment ago, a few thousand dollars here and there are his income was a hundred $30,000 as a councilman. he sold himself so cheap. if you are going to cheap -- --e -- cheat brian: he actually took cash money when he was vice president. tom: it was an entitlement thing that he could take it. brian: what you think about the fact that he pled no contest and did not have to go to jail, and went on to make millions. tom: he was out of public office. bacon -- machen investigating the former mayor grade. even eric holder, the attorney general.
he wrote a letter for all of the u.s. attorneys. usthe people who represent are corrupt, then we have to get them out of office. he left office. he went on to make a successful life afterwards. he was shamed and ridiculed. you have been989, with channel four here in town. covered mainly city politics as well as development issues. and how the federal government treats the city. of the federal government. the nation's capital is the most un-american city in america. it's under 50,000 people that call it home do not have a vote in congress. we have a delegate that can vote in committee but not on the house floor. we have no representation in the senate. the constitution says that congress should have full
legislative authority over the district. it is a remarkable place and i cover all of those interactions. when bill clinton in 1992 and 1993 sat on georgia avenue, and said we will help make this street come back in 20 years later nothing has happened. inian: let's go to ron mach because i want you to explain him. who is he? attorneyas the u.s. for the district of columbia for five years. he left office voluntarily on his own accord april the first of this year. was a very aggressive prosecutor on public corruption issues. he was a successful lawyer before this and he is now in private practice and he is now successful in private practice. he led the investigation into
the allegations of corruption over mayor vincent gray. were, within a few months, there were allegations that money had been spent and not accounted for to get him elected. with an fbid investigation that has now lasted over five years. brian: why did he step down? tom: i think he was the longest-serving u.s. attorney in the desperate or 38 years. -- in the district for 38 years. it has over 300 lawyers. the u.s. -- unlike anywhere else in america, the u.s. attorneys office prosecutes all of the major crimes in the district of columbia. you would think the state courts would do in other places. they have to prosecute anything above a misdemeanor. after five years, it is a
grueling thinker and there is some criticism that he step down without concluding the case against mayor grade. he said, i have done this for five years. it is a demanding job. he think he did it well. a lot of people think he did it well except for the mayor gray thing. he was ready to move back into the private sector. i don't begrudge him that. brian: you did an interview with him after he stepped down for a show. on capitolis a place hill called the hill center. for the last couple of years, every few months, we invite a politician or a person to come in who is in public office to talk about themselves more than what they do for work. where they come from, where they went to school. ronald was on and i asked him
things like -- you play football. played football. we give people a chance to see people in public, like you talk to public -- to people. inan: this was back november the 13th he was still in office. tom: yes. i don't know which click you will show. [video clip] the business of d.c. is politics. if you go down the laundry list of our cases you will see over the last four years, the largest federal contracting scheme in our nations history. over a billion dollars in contracts and $30 billion in bribes involving officials in the u.s. army corps of engineers. we know about the three
councilman who have been convicted of felonies. the chief of staff to another councilman who has been convicted. we know about the two congressman who have been convicted. here in d.c., corruption is the name of the game here in d.c. bread and butter. publicave had over 125 corruption and actions. it is critical and it is a priority because you have to go after leadership. and you do not have people who believe in the system of government and believe that officials are on the day, it tears at the fabric of our democracy. people lose trust in the system. to sayrst thing i want is that i have more than one time -- tie. brian: 125 public corruption cases while he was there. is that unusual? again,stening to him
unfortunately, he does not say those cases, that were in the federal government. they prosecute all manner of corruption. there are 200 thousand federal workers in the metropolitan washington area. there are fraud cases. they do a lot of fraud cases with people milking the government. when you hear when hundred 25 cases, that is not district of columbia employees or citizens. we have had a too long list of corruption in the city but a lot of that is federal. brian: you mentioned that vincent gray who was the mayor of this town but was defeated in the primary by marion bowser. everyone was waiting for an indictment that never came. tom: and still has not yet come. have thought that this will be a time for the next
person to come in. vinny: who is the acting u.s. attorney, we thought vincent: to say that they are not going to bring charges against him but that has not chart -- that has not happened. within the last 24 hours, i checked in, they tell me again and again that the investigation is continuing. where a complex scheme $650,000 was spent in 2010 to campaigne to buy material and do all kinds of things. none of the money was reported. the person who control the money pleaded guilty -- the person who led the money pleaded guilty. said -- jeffrey
thompson's word in court is not very good. at least six people have pled guilty in this scandal. including jeffrey thompson. people who handled the money. do they have enough to nail the mayor? reported thatwas he turned down a plea bargain on a federal felony charge and there is some suggestion that he even turned down a misdemeanor plea bargain where he would just have to ignore knowledge that he knew about the scandal. he is out of office. brian: where is jeffrey thompson? and going around town down to the caribbean islands. he is still doing business. he used to have an accounting firm but he got out of that. he is a well-to-do man. he is living the life. sent me a picture of him buying shoes at nordstrom's. to getels but he has permission from the prosecutors
to go out of town. brian: any person for him? tom: that is one of those things that has a lot of people angry. he pled guilty in court a year ago in april -- in march of 2014. he orchestrated the money, and provided the money and he may face six months in prison. brian: when will he have to go to prison? is: after the case concluded. there are several people who pled guilty but they have not spent any time because they are waiting for the next shoe to drop, waiting for the mayor to be charged. haveefense attorneys i spoken with, people familiar with the prosecutors, and everyone who is involved, still think that there will be some sort of legal action against vincent gray. 2013, a writer for washington post -- let us
let her explain something a little more. [video clip] jeffrey thompson had been in the news. who is local businessman at the center of a major federal investigation and no one really knew who he was. editorout -- i told my that i wanted to write the definitive profile of jeffrey thompson. at the center of d.c. politics and some folks say he is actually at the center of d.c. politics falling apart. for years, behind the scenes, he candidates,ing to he had several contracts with the city, huge contracts. one was worth $322 million a year. no one really knew who he was until things came to light in 2011 over problems with the current mayor, vincent c gray's campaign for mayor in 2010. reporteris a terrific
and this ghetto would probably not have happened without her work. she now works for the new york times and she is covering the -- covering mayor de blasio among other things. notrey thompson was popularly known in the public's mind. but he was very well known in the districts community. extremely well-known. back in the 1990's, 1995, the district of columbia was nearly bankrupt when marion barry was mayor. the congress put together a financial authority control port to control the city's finances. it left marion berry the authority to appoint a cfo. out of the blue, marion barry picked anthony williams who had been working at the agriculture department as cfo. it turns out much later, we found out that the person who
recommended to marion barry to hire anthony williams was jeffrey thompson. brian: thompson -- thompson was well known in the african american business community. brian: does he still have that business? tom: he left the accounting firm and that business. brian: he is still wealthy. tom: i have not seen his books but he seems to be wealthy based on his travel. he even had a business agreement with eric holder. this surprised me. we put it in an updated version of our book. when the washington nationals , thestill in montreal major league baseball said the team could move to washington, someone had to buy the team. bidders and one of them was a group of thatessmen put together included jeffrey thompson and
eric holder. holder, did you have any other businesses with jeffrey thompson that you can tell us? it took them two weeks but he told me no. up a map sot to put people who do not live in this area can get some understanding of what this area looks like. it is between baltimore and northern virginia, about 9.5 billion people. it is between baltimore to the north and richmond to the south. of theto the side district of columbia is a county called prince george's county. what can you tell us about jack jackson who was the former executive of the county? built himselfson up and became a prosecutor. he ran and became the county
executive. he got caught up -- people forget this when we talk about vincent gray investigation went on. he was part of politics for more than five years. was taking money from kickbacks. there was a horrible explosion when he was indicted. the fbi raided his house. it was hugely embarrassing. his wife was at home when the feds came to the door. she called jack johnson and he is telling her to hide money in her bra so the fbi would not see it. to flush a check down the commode so the feds would not get it. caught onll audiotape. his own.bugged it was a humiliating fall. prince george's county has been
rapidly changing community. the police were considered her rent this and that has all changed -- horrendous. he was part of the african-american leadership in that community. he fell to the money. of prison wife is out after serving 10 months. a is still in and he is prisoner in north carolina. here is the video of one of the sting operations where he is taking money from an fbi agent. [video clip] i have a message to take everything from you. [indiscernible]
you.ank prosecutors always want to , especially minorities, they like to put them in jail. if a prosecutor could bring someone like me down. that would make their whole career. but they prosecuted jack johnson. don't like to use the word arrogance but that is what it was. the feeling that he was above all of this that he can take money and be lack -- and laugh about it. brian: the minority accusation that he made. would you think? -- what do you think? is no credible
information that african-americans are singled out by prosecutors in the district of columbia. it shows you how corrupt -- i tell people, when you think about all of the corruption that we are talking about in this immediate washington area including virginia and maryland, you have to remember that four governors out of seven in illinois has been or are in prison. , the mayor of new orleans when katrina happened. turns out -- he was convicted after he left office. he was indicted and is serving a 10 year prison sentence. kill patrick in detroit. patrick in detroit.
from 1976 until 2010, there are almost 1300 officials -- public because that there is where the money and the power is. there will always be people who try to steal it, try to co-opt things. that is why we have to have better ethics laws. it was a survey done by the university of texas, i don't want to get my surveys next, i mean the university of illinois at of the 50 states and how they rank in terms of ethics. this was in 2012 or 2013. ratinghem got a f or a d . when something bad happens, the media gets on it, there are calls for reforms, some reform is done and then it is all forgotten until the next scandal. and we repeat the cycle. brian: tapping about jack
johnson. he gets out of prison in 2018. marion barry.o he was sent to prison for six months on a misdemeanor. jack johnson was sent on a felony and he got outside of and he got a lot of time. should marion barry be sent for a misdemeanor? tom: a lot of people would tell you know. he initially faced 14 charges of corruption in drug abuse. 12 of the charges the jury was hong on them. one was not guilty. he was caught smoking crack. people felt he had been in trapped. he was convicted in another case of having marijuana with another woman. audio]ackson [ lost
and among other people in the marion barry was mistreated. he had a drug problem not a corruption problem, they said. brian: we have several to go in this area. by the way, prince george's county for our viewers have a million people. prison, theent to governor of west virginia and he died this year. his daughter is the united states senator from west virginia right now. tom: we do not follow that case. it is unnerving for me, i worked at nbc for here in washington, and the people who run the station tell us that we have viewers in west virginia. i am doing my job. think aboutor me to the people in west virginia.
i have not covered west virginia politics. you could go to almost every state, he used to tell people, put me in any jurisdiction in the country and i will find some kind of corruption. governor from 1969 until 1977. he was convicted of five felonies. if you go back, and look at the roads and schools in west virginia, he probably did a lot of that. successful politicians do things, and maybe that is where they get this fake shield of armored that they feel they can do these corrupt things. that is why we need better ethics laws and the application of the laws in every state. the washington post has good news for the district of columbia. an editorial recently praising the city for its much tougher ethics. there is an agency now. if you have a question about ethics, you can go after him a
question or they will go investigate and they can fine people. it has put a damper on unethical actions in the city. has never daughter, been accused of anything and she was just elected to the united states senate. tom: that is a good example of someone being a child of a successful politician, unlike legal ground. -- unlike michael brown. was a council. his father had been one also. when harry was elected to replace his father, i said to him -- you know you will be offered a lot of money and you will be offered that in subtle ways. around.things where you can make money. you should be very careful. he said he would be careful.
it turns out that he had already are did the paperwork to start corrupting some city contracts for youth and athletic activities even before he took office. brian: $300,000. tom: the contract was for summer youth sports programs. in the summer, a lot of children do not have parents at home. him after he got convicted and pled guilty, i told him that if i had one of those baseball bats i would hit him with it. -- hang hang dong look dog look. he is in prison in alabama. low security prison. brian: harry thomas got 38 months sentenced. tom: yes. with good behavior, he got out
early and spent time in a baltimore halfway house. march, he was out. brian: the earlier one week spoke about, qualm a brown -- kwame brown. he resigned from office. goalsne of the principal of the prosecution of a public official is to get them out of office. there should be more going to prison which might help people from doing these unethical things. , his father marshall brown was very active and a political leader in the city. he went over the whole city getting people out to vote for marion barry. he was a well-known and well-liked person in the city. brown benefited from his ended's reputation and he up unethically cheating on his mortgage. michael brown was the son of ron brown.
he ended up humiliating himself and his creasing his family name. and harry thomas. all three council members. all three should have been the leaders of the city even now have a paid attention to the job instead of the money that they could make on the side. brian: have there been accusations of the current mayor? won on ar bowser who platform of clean politics. it is a very small city. 600 50,000 people. 68 square miles. its budget is $13 billion a year. havelike other cities, we had a tremendous explosion in economic growth. we have 100,000 new people in town. there is a lot of money. she said herself. we have to be very careful in how we do all of these contracts. the mayor you follow
of baltimore, the one before now, sheila dixon where she had to step down because she was taking these gift cards that were supposed to go to people in poverty? she has already announced that she will run again. tom: again, i wish we could just that you have the robe of goodness or a robe of corruption on what it is often just a mix of things. like marion barry. why did he put up a disguise of drugs and women. built a fire station in southeast washington where there was not one. this is a person that took care of senior citizens. he would talk about taking care of people in the dawn of life and the twilight of life. he did a lot of these things. , they are a politician
have constituents. they don't just pass out money and contracts. they are seen as people who try to do well and then they get corrupt. that is the thing that drives me the most crazy as a political reporter. they do not need to do that. brian: last time i saw you was 21 years ago. here you are, 21 years ago, talking about marion barry. tom: marion barry used to point me out in a crowd. that is tom sherwood over there. i made him. that is what he would say. and i would shout back -- yes you did. brian: let's watch you to me when years ago. [video clip] tom: he did not talk officially for the book that he did talk for a decade. ask what was in it for me. we did not know all of the bad stuff.
it surprised us. even now, he does not like to talk about the book or dispute the book. he just says that i am a better reporter then i am a writer. theismisses it and says book happened and these things happened in the past. i am a new person and a new marion barry. i'd knowledge my problems with women and drugs. taking my hand off of the tiller. i am moving on. he did not want to address the book for that reason. brian: just for a moment, how many different times was he a elected? tom: he was elected mayor four times. three times in a row. 1982.8, in and then he was elected in 1994. brian: how many times with the elected to the council? tom: four times. his political career, he was
elected to the council at-large and the council ones and after being mayor, he was elected to .ounsel for ward eight three times. brian: at his memorial service, newt gingrich spoke, bruce johnson spoke. tom: my competitor on channel nine a cbs station also spoke. brian: what do you think about that? i have spoken at memorials for people. none of whom were elected but they were publicly well-known. that marion berry's widow wanted someone from the media to acknowledge the impact of marion barry on the city. bruce johnson has been covering the city since the 1970's.
people call me the dean of journalists for the local washington area but bruce was working a couple of months before me. i have mixed emotions. -- to speakd to us to a lot of things that are political that i have to turn them down. bruce also does inaugurations. we have a big city of inaugural and bruce is often called upon to be the master of ceremonies for that. some people think it is not good and too chummy with people you are covering but i have never seen evidence that bruce has done anything improper because of it. throughout marion barry's life in this town, after he went to prison for six months, he did come back and constantly have problems with the law but never really suffered. tom: he would have fender vendors. one of my favorite stories about him is that he had a fender bender in the southeast near it -- near the baseball stadium
area. there was a dancing club there. day, i went to the neighborhood to see this club because i had not been there. i went there and it was open. would be openit in the middle of the day and i said that i was a reporter terry i asked -- reporter. i asked if this was marion barry's place. they said yes. i went back to the office and i called him up. i said -- mr. mayor, i have been to club 55. do you realize that people are watching where you go and what you do. you sit there all the time to watch naked dancing girls. there was a pause on the phone and he said -- it is nice there isn't it? aboutis a big dispute taxes. he did not file his taxes and as
a government employee, money was taken out of his paycheck to pay part of his taxes. he did not file to see if he owed more or got a refund. money was taken out but he never filed taxes for 10-15 years. when they went over his money, he owed taxes. it was a misdemeanor i believe. it was not a felony. people thought -- you don't pay your taxes it is a felony. he did pay taxes he just did not complete them or file. for those who do not remember marion barry, here he is late in his life. [video clip] >> washington, d.c. is our nations capital. it is our local government. for any of the embassies here. the national government and agencies are here. international press is here.
national press is here. which means that there are more eyes on me than any other person in america. in america. and i have survived that. and i have overcome that. i am not going to let it get me down. i want to thank the people of washington, d.c. who are beautiful for having the sense and understanding to cut through all of the bs. -- with, with the maze the major press here, we have a few marion barry haters. a few dozen. some are here tonight. is they cannot find anything good. there is always good in something. he was a master. in thek of donald trump summer and fall campaign that we are in now.
that was a good picture of marion barry late in his life. he had the ability to frame things the way he wanted to. he was good at it. you know his crime of being arrested and the contracting looked like a foolish old man talking about life. there was a councilmember there charlie jarvis who was at an barry wase marion talking. he was talking about how he had suffered in public life. i have suffered a thousand moons to which charlie jarvis leaned over and said, all self-inflicted. brian: marion christopher barry. ward where eighth his father represented the council.
what happened? tom: marion christopher very barry lost. marion berry had wanted his son to become the next councilmember and carry on his legacy. christopher -- the was changed to the c when he ran for office. this is a small camp. -- a small town. we have an international community here with the embassies. we have the federal road here with the congress and the white house. and just below that is a little southern town called the district of columbia. in those neighborhoods like ward eight, you cannot bogart your way in. , thecia roberts harris
former housing secretary, and johnson, she is famous in the nation for trying to run for mayor. she had no local ties. christopher barry lived in word eight but had no real local ties. he had a small painting company. he would show up at his father's thanksgiving and christmas giveaways. but he did not have his own -- he could not stand on his own two feet. he has had all sorts of problems. he is not in prison. brian: -- tom: he has had some drug possession problems and most recently, just before he was running, he went down to his money tok to get some pay his workers, he said. the person behind the shield
said i cannot give you that much money. christopher got furious and threw a chair over the plexiglass. i don't think it hit the woman but he was charged with assault. that case to my knowledge is not finished. brian: at the funeral of marion barry, for those who get self-righteous about the things that he did wrong, lewis fair con had this to say. [video clip] >> i was here in washington when my brother went through his great trials. and the reporter from one of the washington newspapers came to me with a question. but before she asked her upstion, she was holding me -- she was building me up as a moral giant.
hadbody who was married and a good life and did not use drugs. said,at do you think she marital who broke his thousand and used drugs -- vows and used drugs. and i said -- who are you talking about? jfk? back to ron machen he also put jesse jackson junior in prison. he is out of prison now but his wife is in or due to go in. what was that story? tom: that was out of illinois. here, right next door to where walter washington,
the first mayor of the city lived. that was the case i did not follow because it was out of illinois. i don't want to talk about what jesse jackson's son did because i do not know the details. he took the money. and did not report it. finally, one more case -- this man is not in prison. he has been sentenced to go to prison for at least two coup years and his wife for at least one year and one day. bob mcdonnell. before i ask you about this, here are the two reporters from the washington post that spent a lot of time on this case oforting on the conviction the former governor of virginia, bob mcdonnell. [video clip] has earned the dubious
distinction of being the first governor in the history of virginia to be charged with a crime. bob and maureen stand accused of trading the prestige of the governor's office in exchange for a man that ran a dietary supplement company. he gave them $177,000 and luxury vacations and gives and sweetheart loan deals. >> they are charged with conspiracy. defense attorneys are saying that their marriage was broken and at times they were hardly talking and so they could hardly have inspired together. >> they did not interact with one another. they were showing through their body language that they were not conspiring together. >> further, that maureen mcdonald has a crush on johnny williams and maybe that rather than a lust for money was why she was soliciting things from him. brian: those two reporters were rosslyn holloman and matt. in particular was
the reporter that got the story going. there were other who were employed with the washington post that worked on the story. this was the case of the media reporting what happened. federal investigation, an indictment, a trial, and imprisonment. brian: there is a picture we ine of the former governor johnny williams for worry. rari.r carey who is our northern virginia reporter cover this case for us. deal about a great the case. i am familiar with this. we areit and talk now, waiting to see if the supreme finalis going to be a savior for mcdonnell. he was convicted in this trial.
he appealed and they turned him down. appealsled to the full court, 15 judges, to reconsider his conviction. it said no. and now he is gone to the supreme court. he got one blip of good news where the supreme court judge, the chief judge, john roberts, said you can stay out of prison until we decide if we are going to take your case or not. if they do not take the case, he will go to prison for two years. if the supreme court takes the think he won't go to prison until the supreme court decides. brian: and his wife, her appeal is in october. tom: she finds out if her appeal will be accepted or not. virginia has some of the most lax ethics laws in the country.
anyoneive any amount to who is running for office. amount to give any anyone who is running for office. he says he never did one overthink him and never passed any legislation. and did not do anything other than what a new -- a good politician does. general's from around the country signed a letter saying they agree with the governor that what he did was politics, not bribery. these gifts, he should have reported the gifts, that might not reporting these gifts. was that he was a potential vice presidential candidate. he was in over his head when he got into the governor's office
asa he had two beach homes investments. he could not afford to pay the mortgage. imperiouslyewhat running the governor's mansion was out looking for money to pay their bills. she maxed out credit cards. this is another case where you are a public figure and you let your messy private life combined together. brian: we have talked about the mayor of baltimore having to step down, we have talked about the former governor of west virginia going to prison. ,he former governor of maryland barbara mandell who just died. leave the vice presidency. virginia. governor of the three council members in the district of columbia, tech johnson, the executive director -- jack johnson in prison at the moment. and the former mayor of washington, d.c. vincent gray.
what do you think based on what you have heard and five years of investigation, will he ever be indicted? reporter, i should not say that i think he will be indicted. there have been a couple of opportunities, i mentioned one, that was a time for the prosecutors and the justice department to say that we have looked for five years into vincent gray, we cannot nail him to the corrupt acts that we know occurred. therefore, we will let the case go. they did not do that. that was a perfect window of opportunity that they did not take. from defense attorneys to keep all familiar with the prosecutors -- two people familiar with the prosecutors -- they agree that he will have to acknowledge that he knew about this shadow campaign and did nothing to stop it. what kind of grate would
you give to our democracy in this area over the last 30 years? tom: you may not like my grade but i will say it is in the b area. f's along theme way. i think politics and corruption is the milk of the entire country. that is why we need better ethics laws and more than that, we need better enforcement of ethics laws. more disclosure. everything a public person does ought to be disclosed if it has anything to do with his or her business. hillary clinton is in trouble about e-mails. when you have great power and great wealth, there is a great opportunity that someone is going to take advantage of it, it is human nature and that is what we cover as reporters. brian: tom sherwood has been in washington for 41 years.
we thank you very much for joining us. thank you very much. i am glad i gave some insights. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q&a.org very q&a programs are also available at c-span podcast. >> on the next washington washingtona today correspondent paul singer on congressional efforts to keep the government-funded beyond the end of the month in order to avoid a government shutdown. also jason oksana with the electronic transactions association on financial data breaches and what companies are doing to protect consumers. then we will look at how the u.n. benefits financially from
the u.s. and other countries with global policy forums, barbara adams. plus, your calls and your comments on facebook and twitter. washington journal is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> the national endowment for the arts is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. hu speaks of the national press club about the milestone. >> monday on "the communicators," we speak with ic ann's ceo about how the internet is governed. >> governments have an advisory role with icann. the develoen