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As the media focus intensified on Virginia soon-to-be-ex-Governor Bob McDonnell's "gifts" from Star Scientific CEO Johnnie Williams, soon-to-be-ex-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli considered a never-before used section of the Virginia Constitution to force McDonnell to be declared unfit for office.

Originally reported by Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and further reported by Politico, The Cooch and Governor Ultrasound had a particularly acrimonious relationship - all partnerships in Star Scientific goody bags aside - stemming most recently from Cooch sidelining McDonnell's preference for Lt. Gov Bill Bolling to be the 2013 GOP Gubernatorial nominee.

As the Star Scientific scandal heated up, Cuccinelli believed that McDonell would be federally indicted and planned to make a dramatic break from McDonnell by declaring him "unfit for service" and become acting Governor.

For a while in August and September, it looked as though McDonnell might be indicted by federal prosecutors. Had that happened, Cuccinelli planned a dramatic public break with McDonnell by invoking Article V, Section 16 of the Virginia Constitution, which has never before been used:

“Whenever the Attorney General, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, or a majority of the total membership of the General Assembly, transmit to the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Delegates their written declaration that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Lieutenant Governor shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting Governor.”

There doesn't appear to be any evidence that the Speaker of the House or the Senate president pro tempore would have gone along with the plan, and, as Politico reported:
Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for Cuccinelli in the attorney general’s office, said in a statement to POLITICO that potential legal options against McDonnell were discussed but no actual plan to employ them was ever formed.

“The attorney general, as Virginia’s chief legal officer, has a duty to review all legal options available to the commonwealth in the event that something so unprecedented as an indictment occurred,” he said. “Nothing ever went beyond reviewing those options.”

So they were just "reviewing" options... the way one does when your sworn enemy just happens to be walking very close to the edge of a cliff and he's in arm's reach.

I love it when the GOP eats their own, especially when it's between some of the lowest lifeforms in the country. I'm just very glad they're gone soon

Originally posted to Isara on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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