August 15, 2014
Prosecution Rests in Former VA Governor McDonnell Trial
The Washington Post reports:
The prosecution rested its federal corruption case against former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on Thursday with a final dramatic display of luxury goods the couple accepted from the onetime chief executive of a dietary supplement company.
An FBI agent testified that he had tallied the majority of gifts and loans provided to the couple by Jonnie R. Williams Sr. over two years and found that their value reached more than $177,000.
Special Agent David Hulser then stood in the witness box and, one by one, held aloft for jurors the dresses, shoes, golf shirts and more — all purchased by Williams for the couple who until January had occupied the governor’s mansion.
Over three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses, prosecutors tried to convince jurors that the McDonnells conspired to lend the prestige of the governor’s office to the wheeling-and-dealing nutritional supplement executive.
Jurors have yet to hear from the defense, which on Monday will begin pressing a strong counterpoint: The governor’s alleged official help got Williams nowhere and — they say — he was promised nothing. His product, never studied at state universities as he sought nor introduced in the state health plan as he desired, was pulled from the shelves this week.