Indicted. A federal grand jury indicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on corruption charges in a scheme that shocked supporters who saw the governor as a “straight arrow.” The 14-count indictment accuses the McDonnells of a relentless scheme to obtain gifts and loans from a wealthy Virginia businessman. Prosecutors claim the couple accepted more than $135,000 in direct payments and gifts, an accusation backed up by emails filled with appeals and promises. The indictment alleges the McDonnells tried to hide the gifts and the extent of their relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. by routing the “things of value” through family members and corporate entities controlled by the former governor. In a news conference late yesterday, McDonnell apologized for “poor judgment” in taking the gifts but said he did nothing illegal in return for Williams’ generosity. “I come before you as someone who has been falsely and wrongfully accused, and whose public service has been wrongfully attacked,” he said. Before the gift scandal came to light, McDonnell had been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016.
Terror threat? The Hungarian Olympic team received an email message Tuesday containing threats of attack and warnings to stay away from the Sochi Olympic Games, scheduled to start Feb. 7 in Russia. The International Olympic Committee downplayed the messages, even though several other teams received similar threats. In a statement, the committee said it would pass the information along to security services. “However, in this case it seems like the email sent to the Hungarian Olympic Committee contains no threat and appears to be a random message from a member of the public,” the committee concluded.
Shooting. Indiana investigators have identified the victim and the gunman involved in yesterday’s on-campus shooting at Purdue University. Cody Cousins, a 23-year-old student, surrendered to police after shooting Andrew Boldt, a 21-year-old senior and teaching assistant, in the school’s engineering department. Police have not released any information about the relationship between the two men or a possible motive for the attack. Purdue students held a candle-light vigil for Boldt just hours after he was killed.
Snow day. Officials in the Northeast say yesterday’s winter storm dropped the heaviest snow of the season, so far. A blanket of white made a mess of morning commutes today and grounded 1,400 flights from Boston to Washington. And the snow is expected to stick around as temperatures remain too low to allow melting compounds to work. Governors in Delaware, New Jersey, and New York have issued states of emergency.