WCVE News Analyst Jeff Schapiro views the extraordinary corruption trial of a former governor and first lady, the three-candidate U.S Senate race, and the McAuliffe administration's preparations for deep budget cuts.
The United States has rested its case in the corruption trial against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and closing arguments are set for today (August 29). Federal prosecutors rested after testimony from their final witness, an FBI agent who analyzed theMcDonnell's calendar entries to illustrate that Virginia’s former first couple spent three quarters of their nights together under the same roof during the 22 months subject to the investigation.
Closing arguments begin this morning (August 29) in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. Federal prosecutors will begin, followed by defense attorneys then the jury will be read between 70 and 90 instructions on how to interpret the evidence they’ve been presented over the past five weeks. Key to the defense is the argument that the McDonnells' marriage was in trouble and they were barely communicating, and therefore couldn’t have conspired.
The prosecution in the corruption trial against former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen will call at least one more rebuttal witness before the jury instruction conference begins.
Yesterday (8/27) for rebuttal, the prosecution called James Abel, a party planner from New York, who said he and Maureen McDonnell’s former Chief of Staff never discussed an Anatabloc launch at the mansion.
Richard Kelsey, Assistant Dean of George Mason University Law School says jury instructions are always a big fight. Kelsey says the government has a difficult case because most of the evidence is circumstantial. Kelsey says prosecutors want a much broader definition of what constitutes an official act by the Governor. The defense is seeking far narrower definition of "official act." Tomorrow, the jury is expected to hear final arguments.
Former Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell has waived the right to speak in her own defense in the federal corruption trial against her and her husband, former Governor Bob McDonnell. Maureen McDonnell stood yesterday as Judge James Spencer explained she had the right to testify, but that should she choose not to, it cannot be held against her.
The corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen is drawing to a close. McDonnell completed his testimony Tuesday and a short witness list remains. Federal Prosecutor Michael Dry, who has tried to paint a bleak picture of the McDonnell’s personal finances, showed a 2012 clip of the former Governor on Sean Hannity’s program discussing the state’s balanced budget.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has finished his testimony in the corruption trial against him and his wife Maureen. The McDonnells are accused of accepting expensive gifts and loans from a Richmond businessman in exchange for promoting his product.
Former Governor Bob McDonnell did not tell his senior staff of a $15,000 cash gift to his daughter and a $50,000 loan to his wife from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, before they approved a luncheon for his company at the Governor’s mansion. The luncheon at the Executive Mansion was arranged so Williams could present money to state universities to kick-start clinical trials of Star Scientific’s new dietary supplement.
Prosecutors will continue their cross examination today of former Governor Bob McDonnell in the federal corruption trial of him and his wife Maureen. Federal prosecutors are likely to further dissect defense claims that the McDonnell’s marriage was in trouble and therefore the couple could not have conspired.