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|“||Oh, c'mon, Lee! What do you think we do here? This isn't the Red Cross. We make weapons, things that kill people. If the government isn't willing to pay the price for them, it's my job to find somebody who will.||„|
|~ Donahue expressing his true intents to Lee.|
William Donahue is a minor antagonist of the 1996 film Eraser. He serves as the corrupt Vice President of Cyrez Corporation, being one of the men behind a conspiracy (formulated by U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper and Cyrez CEO Morehart) to sell rail-guns on the black market.
He was portrayed by James Cromwell, who also played Captain Dudley Liam Smith in L.A. Confidential, Professor Robert Callaghan in Disney's Big Hero 6, Joseph Campbell in The General's Daughter, Dr. Arthur Arden in American Horror Story: Asylum, The Colonel in DreamWorks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Warden Hazen in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard.
A woman named Lee Cullen has known to work for Donahue for 5 years, but it was not until she came across his plan to create and sell electromagnetic pulse guns on the black market, presumably to a Russian mafia led by the notorious terrorist Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky for a sum of $52 million. Feeling that a new era of global terrorism will follow, Cullen came forward to the FBI, who assigned her to deliver a disc containing any evidence regarding to the arms sale.
Equipped with a hidden camera inside her suit, Lee heads over to Cyrez HQ, where she procures much of the evidence onto two discs, one for herself and the other for the FBI. However, after she completes the task, a guard notifies her that Donahue wants to see her immediately. After being escorted into Donahue's office, Lee is confronted by Donahue, who explains that he saw her getting the files through the video surveillance system.
Donahue demanded to know who was Lee working for. Lee stated that she thought that Cyrez was working for the U.S. government, but Donahue retorts at this, saying that the government will not give in to his sales, and that he would rather find someone else who will. This implies that he is willing to commit treason to make more profit. He then spots the hidden camera inside Lee's suit, much to his dismay. After Lee confesses that she's working for the FBI and that they just saw and heard everything what Donahue said, Donahue angrily draws a pistol at Lee, telling her that he hopes that she understands what he's going to do next. However, rather than shooting Lee, Donahue instead commits suicide by firing the pistol into his mouth to avoid facing arrest and charges for treason. The commotion caused a traumatized Lee to escape away from Cyrez with the help from the FBI.
Following Donahue's suicide and Lee's deliverance of one of the discs to the FBI, she is informed that Donahue was nothing more than a middleman behind the plot, right before she is placed under protection by U.S. Marshal John Kruger (the hero of the film). Later on, both Kruger and Lee learn that Harper is the real mastermind behind the arms sale, as he assigned Donahue to create the rail-guns. Following Donahue's death, Harper assigned Morehart to continue on with the plan with security head James Haggerty by his side. Harper also assigned U.S. Marshal Robert Deguerin and his men Schiff and Calderon to eliminate any obstacles (including Kruger and Lee themselves) to cover their tracks, though this all ended up in failure.