McDonnell Trial: Following the Money

Aug 22, 2014

The scene at the courthouse in Richmond, VA.

On day 20 of the former first couple's federal corruption trial and day 3 of testimony from former Governor Bob McDonnell, jurors were able to follow the money.

The last two days were focused on McDonnell's troubled marriage and how it conflicted with his job as governor.  The former governor testified about the loans and relationship he had with ex-Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

It was Maureen's deal. That's not a quote, but the theme of McDonnell’s testimony regarding a $50,000 loan the former governor’s business received. McDonnell says his wife started negotiating with Williams for the money, and he found out through an email after the agreement was nearly done.

McDonnell himself had considered getting a private loan for his rental property business, but Maureen jumped the gun. Later, McDonnell explained that he did not hide a complicated stock loan that he did discuss with Williams, and he took copious notes on the details they would give to attorneys and stockbrokers. He says he was shocked when he learned from his sister and business partner that a check had arrived—although he was still negotiating the deal.

While Williams testified that his relationship with McDonnell was just business, McDonnell says they started becoming friends after the loan—which also explained why he accepted a trip to Cape Cod extended by Williams.

McDonnell did ask an aide why UVa and VCU officials had not returned Williams' calls about researching Anatabloc even though Star Scientific had given them grants.