RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Bob McDonnell has hired former Virginia U.S. Attorney John Brownlee as part of the private legal team he’s assembling to cope with state and federal investigations into gifts to him and his family from the head of a troubled nutritional supplements maker.

Brownlee was appointed chief federal prosecutor for the Western District of Virginia by former President George W. Bush in 2001 and served through 2008. He joins McDonnell’s legal team headed by Emmet Flood of Washington’s Williams & Connolly law firm. Flood defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Brownlee lost the 2009 Republican Virginia Attorney General nomination to Ken Cuccinelli. He now leads the National White Collar Defense and Investigations for the Washington, D.C., law firm of Holland and Knight.

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