The wife of a lawyer tasked with monitoring ethics in President Donald Trump’s business trust was arrested Tuesday afternoon after “suspicious” activity with a Virginia inmate in the backseat of a car outside a jail.
Teresa Jo Burchfield, 53, was outside Virginia’s Fauquier County Adult Detention Center when deputies charged her with a crime of her own. Burchfield and an unnamed 23-year-old inmate were spotted in the backseat of a car, along with a bag of pills and other contraband items that Burchfield had allegedly given the inmate. Burchfield’s husband, Bobby Burchfield, is an ethics advisor to the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, an entity intended to keep Trump’s business and political ties separate.
“The defendant was caught in the backseat of her vehicle with an inmate," according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Fauquier Times. "When the inmate exited the vehicle, he handed me a bag of brown pills (capsules), that he claims to be workout pills."
The inmate, who told police he and Burchfield had been having sex, also had other contraband items on his person, including cigarettes and vitamin supplements, according to the complaint. The inmate told investigators that he and Burchfield had been meeting for a month.
Burchfield’s husband is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association. He served on President George H.W.’s 1992 reelection campaign, worked for President George W. Bush during his 2000 effort to demand a vote recount, and later served on the younger Bush’s Antitrust Modernization Commission. He also chaired Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove’s Republican advocacy group, and testified before the Supreme Court on behalf of the Republican National Committee.
In January 2017, Trump named Bobby Burchfield as the outside ethics adviser to his Revocable Trust, a complicated entity that Trump’s lawyers have used to deflect scrutiny over Trump’s continued ties with his businesses.
Teresa Burchfield was released on a $5,000 bond, court records show. She has been charged with unauthorized delivery in jail, a misdemeanor.
But the inmate implicated in the case might see a stronger slap on the wrist. At the time of Burchfield’s arrest, the inmate was a jail trustee, a status marked by light charges and authorization “to perform work inside and outside of the detention center and sheriff’s office facilities,” Fauquier sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman told the Times in a statement.
It is unclear whether the inmate will lose his status from the alleged meetings with Burchfield.