The timeline is significant because Cuccinelli owned stock in Williams’s company and sold some of it at a profit during this time frame.
But according to his campaign officials, Cuccinelli did not know of any issues with Star when he sold the stock.
The allegations against McDonnell arose in March 2012, when authorities confronted chef Todd Schneider with accusations that he stole food from the mansion for personal use. Schneider told a lawyer in Cuccinelli’s office that he knew of other alleged wrongdoing in the mansion. He said that Williams had paid $15,000 for the catering at the wedding of McDonnell’s daughter, even though it was McDonnell who had signed the catering contract and accepted financial responsibility for the event, according to court records.
But it was not until early August 2012 that Cuccinelli was first told by his chief deputy that Williams had some involvement with the chef case, Cuccinelli’s campaign officials said.
Cuccinelli was not fully briefed about charges related to Williams, including a federal securities investigation into Star Scientific, until two meetings in late September and early October, they said.
That would mean that Cuccinelli was unaware of widening probes into Williams and Star in mid-summer 2012, when he sold 1,500 shares of stock in Williams’s company at a profit.
He also would have known nothing of the case in June, when he stayed at Williams’s vacation home at Smith Mountain Lake, one of several trips Cuccinelli made there with his family.
The new timeline was released by the campaign in response to a detailed list of questions about Cuccinelli’s involvement with Star Scientific submitted by The Washington Post several weeks ago.
Campaign officials said the memo was prepared in consultation with Cuccinelli, his financial adviser, and current and former members of the attorney general’s office.
To corroborate the information, they released an April 2, 2012, e-mail from Deputy Attorney General Chuck James to two staffers, in which James mentions that the three had “discussed recusing the AG.”
In the e-mail, with the subject line “The Great Chef Caper,” James went on to suggest that the lawyers look for statutory authority that would allow someone other than the attorney general to authorize an investigation of an elected official, should that become necessary.
Under state law, Virginia State Police can investigate an elected official only if directed to do so by the governor, the attorney general or a grand jury.