Testimony by former governor Bob McDonnell during his federal corruption trial consisted of his description of the breakdown of his marriage and pleading to his wife and co-defendant, Maureen, about her overspending.
The morning was pretty solemn—and at one point, there was some much-needed comic relief when he was asked about his own purchases.
McDonnell testified that he did not know about the costs of the shopping sprees his wife enjoyed on Jonnie Williams' dime—and that neither Williams nor his wife informed him.
Former Governor McDonnell took the stand in his own defense in a surprising turn of events Wednesday afternoon during the former first couple’s federal corruption trial.
Some legal experts wonder whether it was ill-advised for him to testify right now—while others say it's a wise tactic.
McDonnell was confident and seemingly unnerved in day one of his testimony—but not before two long-time friends took the stand to vouch for his character. The former governor said he was eager to tell his side of the story:
Day 16 of the federal corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife opened with Judge James Spencer thanking the jurors for being there—and saying that he had prayed for each of them last night.
That was a subtle reference to the loss of three jurors since the proceedings began.
The defense continued with its witnesses and meticulously focused on McDonnell’s sister and real estate business partner—who, like his wife, is also named “Maureen.”
Federal prosecutors in the Bob and Maureen McDonnell trial called as a witness one of the FBI investigators who sifted through the former first couple's email, text, and mobile records.
They tied those records to benefactor Jonnie Williams in the gift-giving scandal. But one political analyst who has been watching the trial believes what may be most damning—at least in the eyes of the jurors—were the gifts paraded before them Thursday.