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May 20, 2014
Former Va. Governor, Wife's Request for Separate Trials Denied in Corruption Case
A judge ruled Tuesday that the federal corruption charges against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, will not be dismissed. The McDonnells' request for separate trials was also denied.
U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer heard arguments Monday in Richmond from attorneys for McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.
The McDonnells had sought the dismissal of most of the corruption charges filed against them, as well as separate trials. A court order released Tuesday says that defendants who are indicted together should be tried together, unless a joint trial "would be so unfairly prejudicial that a miscarriage of justice would result."
The Republican and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc. In exchange, they would help promote his products, according to prosecutors.
Their defense lawyers, as well as five former state attorneys general, have argued that the federal government is trying to criminalize politics by pursing its case against the former governor.