Monday's reports of FBI interest in the case along with the motions filed in Schneider's case are the first to directly allege misconduct by Virginia's governor and his family in the continuing criminal investigation arising from kitchen operations at the 200-year-old Virginia Executive Mansion, the official home of the state's governors and the longest-serving gubernatorial residence of any state.
Schneider had headed the kitchen operations from 2010, when McDonnell moved in, until last year, when he was dismissed after a state police inquiry began into alleged improprieties in the mansion's kitchen.
Schneider is facing four counts of taking state property worth $200 or more in the last half of 2011 and early 2012. Monday's filings came as part of a motion seeking to dismiss charges against Schneider at a hearing in the case scheduled for Thursday.
The motion alleges Schneider told investigators the mansion staff and other state employees had witnessed him being instructed to take state-purchased food as payment for personal services, and that they saw others "openly taking cases of food and other supplies from the Governor's Mansion."
The motion also accuses Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor this year, of prosecuting Schneider in an attempt to protect his political interests in his gubernatorial bid — "a campaign for which he needs substantial political donations and the support of the current Governor of Virginia."
He alleges Cuccinelli ignored evidence that Schneider provided about McDonnell's ties to Williams because the attorney general had also received thousands of dollars in gifts from the same business executive.
Cuccinelli filed a motion last week to recuse his office from prosecuting Schneider, citing conflicts of interest. But the motion says Cuccinelli should have recused his office from the case a year ago.
Cuccinelli's campaign said in a release: "Todd Schneider is facing multiple indictments for stealing. Ultimately he will face a jury of his peers."
Political and official aides to Cuccinelli dismissed the motion by Schneider's attorney, Steven D. Benjamin of Richmond, as a further effort to politicize and sensationalize a criminal trial.