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Williams Says He Knew Giving McDonnells Gifts Was Wrong

Jonnie Williams, the star witness in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, told prosecutors he gave the family over $150,000 worth of gifts and loans because they were helping his company. Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific, said he knew what he was doing was wrong and could be illegal.

When asked about a 6,000 dollar Rolex he purchased for Governor McDonnell at Maureen’s request he told prosecutors “I shouldn’t have to buy things like that to get the help I needed."

Williams Says Maureen McDonnell Requested Gifts

In sworn testimony late yesterday afternoon Jonnie Williams told federal prosecutors that Maureen McDonnell came to him for help and asked for a $50,000 loan and  $15,000 to pay for the catering at her daughter Cailin’s wedding. Williams said in 2011 the former first lady told him she and Governor McDonnell had discussed filing for bankruptcy because of excessive credit card debt and multiple rental properties purchased at the height of the housing bubble that were a drain on their finances.

Bobby McDonnell Testfies About Gifts from Williams

The McDonnell’s son Bobby took the stand yesterday, confirming gifts to the family and golf trips from Jonnie Williams and filling in details. Bobby said when he first saw the now famous Rolex watch paid for by Williams but given as a Christmas gift by Maureen to her husband, he thought it was a blackmarket knockoff purchased on a recent trade mission to Asia. Bobby noticed the second hand ticked instead of rolling perpetually, the trademark of a Rolex.

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