U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D) who has a very loose connection to the Star- Scientific saga plauging leading Republicans in Richmond, chose not to attack and instead said that he will wait see how the case plays out.
Warner said that there isn't enough information to draw a conclusion on any wrong doing by Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) when it comes to their connection to the Star- Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
"I have only heard reports from one side, some of the accusations, made," Warner said. "I think I ought to reserve judgement until all the facts come out."
Warner who served as Virginia's Governor from 2002-2006 and flirted with the idea of running again for this office this year, said that overall Virginia's campaign finance and disclosure laws work. He said wouldn't be surprised though if there was a movement in next year's General Assembly to tighten the laws in the wake of this situation.
"I think there will probably be a bipartisan effort in the legislature to strengthen Virginia's disclosure rules," he said. "But we've been, whether it was Republicans or Democrats, I think we've got a very good record, particularly compared to other states of not having the kind of abuses that we've seen Maryland, West Virginia and other parts of the region."
McDonnell himself pointed out on WTOP radio earlier this week that the only direct government assistance Star-Scientific has received came during the Warner administration. Despite the grant, which was awarded independently of Warner through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Senator said he has never met Jonnie Williams, the CEO at the center of the controversy.
"Money was actually reclaimed from that because Star-Scientific didn't produce the jobs" Warner was quick to note. "But I don't believe I've met the individual."
Many Virginia Democrats have called for Cuccinelli to resign as Attorney General, but Warner wasn't prepared to do the same. He said that was a decision left to Cuccinelli himself.
An extended clip from our interview can be found below:
(Note that is NBC12 Photogjournalist Dwight Nixon asking Sentor Warner the questions)