It is the first visible sign of an offensive move in the wake of the Star-Scientific scandal by Governor Bob McDonnell.
The Governor's office released a report conducted by Tony Troy a former Democratic Attorney General that found that the executive branch did not provide Star-Scientific or it's CEO Jonnie Williams any special benefit.
The external audit of the McDonnell administration was conducted in the wake of accusations that Williams may have undue influence over the Governor because his family has received close to $200,000 in gifts and loans from Williams. Much of that money was not initially or specifically disclosed.
Troy, who is serving as counsel to the McDonnell administration and the Executive Mansion in matters related to Star-Scientific, wrote a letter to administration lawyer Jason Eige where he spelled out the results of his investigation.
He makes it clear from his inquiry that Williams did not benefit in any way from the large donations he provided the McDonnell family.
Specifically Troy spells out three areas:
1- There have been no public funds, grants, or contracts from the state agencies to Star Scientific.
2- There have been no gubernatorial appointments made to Jonnie Williams or any officer of Star Scientific.
3- Neither Jonnie Williams or any officer from Star-Scientific received any direct monetary benefit from meetings arranged with three cabinet members or their representatives.
You can read the full letter here.
Despite these finding by Troy, the investigations into McDonnell's connection to Williams will continue. Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring said on Thursday that his inquiry is on going.
Herring couldn't speak to the Federal investigation of McDonnell, but said his office remains on the case.
"I don’t know specifically what the Justice Department is doing," said Herring. "But there has been no request from us that they assume our role."
It won't be enough for Democrats either. Sen. Chap Petersen was the first to call for more disclosure from McDonnell on Star-Scientific. He is not even worried about the Governor breaking the law. He believes the information that has already been brought public needs a better explanation.
"Yes I am concerned that Mr. Williams was able to use the office of the governor to promote his products, I have a problem with that," said Petersen. "We are not going around branding ourselves. We don't say the Commonwealth of Virginia brought to you by Sunkist."
Petersen is worried the Federal Investigation could take months to resolve and McDonnell needs to put all the facts on the table now.