Aide Testifies in Day Seven of Corruption Trial
The prosecution continued to call its witnesses during Day Seven of the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. One was Molly Huffstetler—a former top aide to Health Secretary Bill Hazel—who testified that she went to a meeting with the former First Lady and Jonnie Williams, where he pitched his company’s product, Anatabloc. The meeting ultimately did not help Williams get state assistance for his product.
McDonnell sent an e-mail asking for the meeting to Hazel, who sent Huffstetler. Her email called Williams the “Tic Tac Man,” because of his product’s resemblance …and said she did not plan to commit to anything. She said her e-mail to Williams later told him “no” with a smile… adding that the McDonnells never pressured her to take any action. Attorney and former state Democratic Party chairman Paul Goldman said Huffstetler testified that such meetings with people about their ideas were commonplace. He said they were not criminal conspiracies.
“What the witnesses said today is, ‘No, these were never intended to be important meetings in the beginning. These were just polite ways of saying no.’ And having been there, that’s exactly what they were. The prosecution has completely misconstrued these meetings.”
VCU clinical research director John Clore testified that a Johns Hopkins doctor called him about Williams’ product. In an e-mail, Clore told colleagues that Williams was a “very good friend” of McDonnell’s, and the governor would like to sponsor these clinical trials. Clore said that’s what the doctor—who turned out to be a paid consultant—told him, but Clore said he did not hear that from McDonnell.