Corruption Trial Continues for Fifth Week

Aug 25, 2014

Richmond, Last Week

Week five and day 21 of the Bob and Maureen McDonnell corruption trial has neither the prosecutors nor the judge handling the former governor with care. 

Monday's testimony had onlookers grabbing a virtual bag of popcorn and a soft drink waiting for prosecutors to really hone in on the corruption charges.

First, the prosecutor demanded absolute responses from McDonnell—asking whether he was denying loans, gifts, or asking any public official to meet with ex-Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

McDonnell didn't deny that, but clarified that an Executive Mansion event was not specifically to promote Williams' products.

Later, McDonnell testified that although his wife did develop a closer bond with Williams—and traveled to various events with him—she and the former governor didn't talk much about Star Scientific. McDonnell did reveal that Maureen received mental health counseling in 2012.

When asked about financial difficulties, McDonnell appeared to Judge James Spencer to dance around it—but the judge then instructed him to answer the question directly. Earlier, the former first lady’s lawyer had questioned McDonnell about occasions when Maureen took action without his knowledge. 

McDonnell agreed that he did not know at the time about his wife’s purchase of Star Scientific stock—and he did not know about the expensive clothes Williams bought her during a shopping spree. Still, there were no mega bombs dropped by the prosecution during cross-examination.