The FBI is questioning associates of Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., about the relationship he and his wife Maureen have with a major campaign donor, the Washington Post reports.
The McDonnells' relationship with Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. has been the subject of public scrutiny for weeks, since the Post reported that Williams paid the $15,000 catering bill for the wedding of the McDonnells' daughter in 2011. Unnamed sources now tell the Post that the FBI is conducting interviews to determine whether the McDonnells inappropriately used their occupancy in the governor's mansion to benefit Williams in exchange for his $15,000 check and other gifts.
In an interview with Washington, D.C., CBS radio affiliate WTOP on Tuesday, McDonnell -- a potential 2016 presidential contender -- said he would not comment on any ongoing or potential investigations.
However, he called Williams and his wife "family friends," adding, "Nothing has been done with regard to my relationship to Mr. Williams or his company Star Scientific to give any kind of special benefits."
"I've had a remarkable opportunity to serve these last three-and-a-half years," McDonnell continued. "There's nothing going on at all that impairs my ability to do a good job and serve the people of Virginia."
Public disclosure forms show that Williams and Star Scientific have given McDonnell and his political action committee more than $120,000 in donations and gifts. Meanwhile, according to the Post, the McDonnells have benefited in other ways from the relationship; for instance, they've vacationed at the Williams' lake house.
The McDonnells, meanwhile, have helped promote Star Scientific, a company that produces the produces dietary supplement Anatabloc. For instance, Maureen McDonnell in 2011 coordinated a luncheon at the governor's mansion to celebrate the launch of Anatabloc. Maureen McDonnell also touted the benefits of Anatabloc at a 2011 conference of doctors and investors in Florida.
On WTOP, McDonnell noted that Star Scientific has not received any economic incentives or grants under his administration. Furthermore, he noted that promoting Virginia businesses is part of his job as governor.
"During my time as governor... my top issue has been job creation and economic development. I have promoted multiple Virginia companies all around the world," he said, noting that he just returned from a trip to China where he promoted businesses from his state.