It was the defense’s turn to cross-examine the prosecution’s star witness, Jonnie Williams, on Day Six of the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The ex-Star Scientific CEO admitted Friday that he never told the former governor about many of his wife’s requests—including a Rolex, use of a Ferrari, and a New York luxury shopping trip. The defense sought to reinforce that idea… while portraying Williams as looking out for his own interests.
Williams said he thought McDonnell had sent him a photo of himself with the Rolex, but after looking at phone records, he was unable to find that number sending the text. In reply to questions, Williams spoke of a half-dozen Star shareholder lawsuits that the government has put on hold, and about the FDA’s assertion that Star inaccurately represented its product as mitigating disease like a drug. Outside the courthouse, political analyst Bob Holsworth said Williams’ testimony about his second, more expansive immunity deal, could be pivotal.
“The big question still revolves around how the jurors respond to the very favorable immunity deal that Jonnie Williams received—not only for his testimony here, but for some other crimes that he may or may not have committed.”
Williams said he sought to hide a potential $50,000 stock deal with McDonnell, and thought he did, too. But the defense displayed an e-mail showing that McDonnell told his stockbroker—suggesting that he never agreed to keep it secret.
Williams also testified that he did not know that Maureen McDonnell had romantic feelings toward him until last week…and that he never had physical contact with the former first lady.