Va. governor’s backers set up fund for his defense

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Supporters of embattled Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell have established a nonprofit corporation to accept donations for his legal defense as federal and state authorities look into his ties to a wealthy campaign donor.

Virginia Beach attorneys Stanley Baldwin and Jason Miyares and businessman Tom Knox announced the creation of the Restoration Fund on Friday.

In a press release, Baldwin says the nonprofit was needed to help the Republican governor “clear his good name.” It will not take money from state employees or others doing business with the state.

Authorities are looking into McDonnell’s relationship with Jonnie Williams Sr. and thousands of dollars in gifts Williams and his company, Star Scientific, have given to McDonnell’s family.

McDonnell’s spokesman Rich Galen confirmed the nonprofit had been established but refused to comment further.

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