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Jurors Return for 1st Full Day of Deliberations in McDonnell Corruption Trial

Jurors return this morning for the first full day of deliberations in the corruption trial against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

Prosecutors say former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams got special access to the Executive Mansion and public officials to advance his company's dietary supplement in exchange for $177,000 in gifts and loans to the McDonnells.

Defense attorneys say Williams got nothing unavailable to any other Virginia business.

Mayor Jones Calls For Tax Cut

Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones is calling for the first reduction in the city’s real estate tax rate since 2007, from $1.20 to $1.19 per hundred dollars of assessed value. New revenue estimates show Richmond’s real estate assessments are up as well as an increasing new construction in the city. Jones says the tax cut will help the city attract and retain families and expand its taxable income.

AP Review Says Commission Chairman’s Family Business Got 21 Million

The Associated Press says that family members of the chairman of the so-called tobacco indemnification commission received a 21 million dollar economic development grant. The A.P. says the money went to a telephone cooperative run by family members of Terry Kilgore, a Republican state legislator and chairman of the Virginia Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which controls about 600 million dollars from the national tobacco settlement.

Jury to Begin Deliberations Today in McDonnell Trial

Jurors begin deliberations this morning in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. Jurors will rule on 14 corruption and bank fraud charges and one charge of obstruction of justice aimed exclusively at the former first lady. If found guilty the McDonnell’s could face decades in prison.

Prosecutors say the McDonnell’s sold out by granting Williams use of the executive mansion to promote his product and scheduling an ultimately unfruitful meeting between Williams and the Virginia Secretary of Health.

Testimony Over in McDonnell Trial

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 in McDonnell Trial

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.

Rebuttal Witnesses Continue in McDonnell Trial

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.

McDonnell Daughter Jeanine Calls Jonnie Williams a “Criminal”

Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, the daughter of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen testified Wednesday in the couple’s federal corruption trial in Richmond. Zubowsky told Jurors she and her husband Adam returned a $10,000 wedding check from Jonnie Williams “after we realized he was a criminal.”  Prosecutors quickly objected. Williams has not been charged with or convicted of any crime but has been given an immunity deal from federal prosecutors, for any alleged securities fraud he may have committed.

Jury Instruction Conference Set to Begin in McDonnell Trial

 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.

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