Reports: Ramadan to testify before grand jury in McDonnell case
Ramadan did not respond to phone calls or an email seeking comment. He told the Washington Post, which first reported the story, that he is “cooperating and [looks] forward to continuing to cooperate 100 percent” with investigators.
With his disclosure, Ramadan is the first elected official to publicly address the impaneling of a grand jury relating to the McDonnell investigation.
According to the Post, the FBI has been conducting interviews in recent weeks to examine the relationship between McDonnell, his wife Maureen and political donor Jonnie Williams, the CEO of Star Scientific, a Virginia-based supplement manufacturer for which both McDonnells have advocated.
Questions about the McDonnell-Williams relationship escalated in April after it was revealed in the Post that Williams had paid a $15,000 catering tab for McDonnell's daughter's wedding in 2011.
Ramadan, who has previously highlighted his friendship with Gov. McDonnell, was in attendance at the wedding.
Ramadan told the Post, “Like everybody else who attended, I gave a gift.” Ramadan said the gift was not money. He also declined to say whether he has ever provided other gifts to members of the McDonnell family.
In 2011 Ramadan was the recipient of a $40,000 campaign donation from McDonnell's political action committee, Opportunity Virginia.
First elected to the House of Delegates in 2011, Ramadan's district covers the Dulles and South Riding areas of Loudoun County and a portion of Prince William County. He is facing a well-funded Democratic challenger in this November's election, retired Air Force Major John Bell.
The Democrat had close to double the amount of cash on hand following the most recent campaign finance reports on May 29.
Bell raised nearly $160,000 this year and had $98,000 cash on hand May 29. Ramadan raised $82,800 in 2013 and had $56,200 on hand at the close of the second quarter reporting.
The 87th District race also has the interest of national Democratic operatives. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean's Democracy for America political action committee has pledged its support for Bell, donating $8,000 already.
The Bell campaign has used Ramadan's involvement with the McDonnell investigation, as well as recent controversy surrounding a trip Ramadan made to Taiwan in 2011, to attack the Republican on transparency.
Ramadan initially did not report the economic development trip to Asia through his financial interest statement. The venture was reported to cost $7,000 and paid for by the government of Taiwan. After several days of media scrutiny, Ramadan reconsidered and officially disclosed the trip.
"This is a troubling pattern of behavior,” Joe Hamill, Bell's campaign manager, said in a prepared statement. “From refusing to report gifts he's received to evading questions about gifts he's given, David Ramadan's disregard for the truth and transparency is not fitting of the office he holds. We deserve a delegate that will shoot straight and tell the truth, not do everything they can to keep Virginians in the dark."
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