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Judge Denies Defense Motions in Corruption Trial of Bob McDonnell

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

A VA federal judge has denied all pre-trial motions in the case of former VA Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife.   McDonnell was previously a rising star in the Republican party and is now facing  federal corruption charges that could send him and his wife to jail for a very long time.  His defense lawyers had argued that the gifts given by businessman Johnnie Williams was nothing out of the ordinary.  The McDonnells claim that gifts totaling $165,000 including loans, catering for their daughter’s wedding, Rolex watch and expensive shopping sprees were all a part of how business in done politically and the former governor did nothing wrong. The defense had asked to dismiss almost all of the charges and requested separate trials.  A federal judge found that there was sufficient evidence for the case to go forward to the jury on July 28.  Additionally, in denying their request for separate trials, the judge ruled there was no prejudicial reason shown to separate the conspiracy trial of the two.

The most difficult part of the case for the McDonnells is the loans received by them from Johnnie Williams.  The McDonnells failed to disclose those loans on bank documents.  And if the loans were not illegal or out of the ordinary, the question for the jury is why weren’t they disclosed by the McDonnells.  Former Governor Bob McDonnell was a well liked VA governor.  And it remains to be seen how  much his likability will play a part in his trial.  But well liked politicians still commit crimes.

 

On May 20, WUSA 9 interviewed Debbie Hines for her analysis on the case.  The interview and full coverage of the case is seen here in video: Tell us what you think of the former Governor’s case.