McDonnell Trial: Here's What You Need to Know

Former governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell and wife face federal corruption charges

The verdict in the corruption case of Virginia's former governor, Bob McDonnell, and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, came in Thursday afternoon.

Bob and Maureen McDonnell were each charged with 13 counts in a 14-count indictment:

  • In the first count against them, the McDonnells were found guilty of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud for accepting gifts and loans from Williams.
  • The next three charges, counts 2-4, involved accepting checks from Williams: On counts 2 and 3, the McDonnells were both found guilty of honest-services wire fraud for accepting a $15,000 check to pay a caterer for their daughter's wedding, and for accepting a $50,000 loan check for MoBo Real Estate, a company the former governor operated with his sister.
  • On count 4, Bob McDonnell was also found guilty of a count of honest-services wire fraud for a $20,000 wire transfer for MoBo. Maureen McDonnell was found not guilty on that charge.
  • On count 5, the McDonnells were found guilty of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right for the gifts and loans they received.
  • The McDonnells also faced six charges of obtaining property under color of official right, counts 6-11: On counts 6-8, they were found guilty of three charges of obtaining property under color of official right for a $50,000 check to Maureen, for the $15,000 check to the wedding caterer, and for a $2,380 golf outing.
  • On count 9, Bob McDonnell was found guilty of obtaining property under color of official right for a $1,424 golf outing. Maureen McDonnell was found not guilty of that charge.
  • On count 10, both McDonnells were found guilty of obtaining property under color of official right for the $50,000 check to MoBo.
  • On count 11, Bob McDonnell was found guilty of obtaining property under color of official right for the $20,000 transfer to MoBo. Maureen McDonnell was found not guilty of that charge.
  • Only Bob McDonnell was charged with count 12. He was found not guilty of making false statements on a TowneBank loan application.
  • In count 13, both McDonnells were found not guilty of making false statements on a PenFed loan application.
  • Only Maureen McDonnell was charged with count 14. She was found guilty of obstruction of official proceeding for a handwritten note to Williams.

They will be sentenced Jan. 6, 2015.

With five weeks of testimony and evidence, the trial was complicated. We've compiled day-by-day updates below, to help you better understand the events as they unfolded.

Bob McDonnell was once considered a rising Republican star and a possible vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney's presidential run in 2012. In January, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted for allegedly accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams -- which prosecutors say were in exchange for the promotion of Williams' dietary supplement company, Star Scientific Inc.

McDonnell repeatedly affirmed his innocence during the many hearings leading up to the trial. He said that accepting the gifts was "bad judgment." He also said he repaid more than $120,000 of the gifts and that he had not broken any laws.

Jump to Day One

Day 28 - Thursday, Sept. 4

The court announced after lunchtime the jury reached a verdict.

  • Family members broke into sobs as their parents' guilty counts were read aloud. Son Bobby McDonnell looked at his father with tear-glazed eyes as the former governor's head collapsed into his hands. Courtroom observers said two jurors wiped their eyes as the verdicts were read. Maureen McDonnell teared up, but appeared composed compared to the emotional reactions of her husband and children.
  • The McDonnells left the courthouse together but got into separate cars.
  • McDonnell's defense attorney Henry Asbill, who made the closing argument in the case, said he will "of course" appeal the verdict in the trial.

Day 27 - Wednesday, Sept. 3

After deliberating for five hours yesterday, the jury will continue deliberations.

Day 26 - Tuesday, Sept. 2

U.S. District Judge James Spencer spent nearly two hours Tuesday morning reading his instructions to the seven-man, five-woman jury.

  • Judge Spencer told the jury that the testimony of a witness who is granted immunity -- meaning Williams -- must be examined more closely than testimony of other witnesses. The heightened scrutiny is required to determine whether the testimony of the immunized witness is "affected by self-interest," he said.
  • The judge also walked the jury through the charges, including "honest services fraud" and conspiracy to commit such an offense. "A conspiracy is, in a very true sense, a partnership in crime," Spencer said. To be found guilty, he said, a defendant must understand the nature of the conspiracy and deliberately join it.
  • However, the judge said a conspiracy does not have to achieve its goals -- an instruction that could undercut a defense claim that Williams never received anything of substance, including the research he took preliminary steps to seek.
  • Spencer also told jurors -- who heard from three character witnesses, two for Bob McDonnell and one for his wife -- that "evidence of good character alone may create a reasonable doubt as to a defendant's guilt."
  • The jury got the case around noon, and they adjourned after five hours of deliberations.

Day 25 - Friday, Aug. 29

The prosecution and lawyers for Bob and Maureen McDonnell delivered closing arguments.

  • Bob McDonnell's defense accused the prosecution of tearing the former governor's life apart without proof he anything other than arrange a standard meeting for Williams, saying, "The federal government has not produced any evidence, least of all that Bob McDonnell committed bribery or defrauded a bank." McDonnell's defense slammed Williams, saying he invented the corruption story to get federal immunity.
  • The prosecution started its closing arguments going right after Bob McDonnell, mockingly referring to him as "Mr. Transparency" and "Mr. Honesty," as the defense has tried to portray him. In more than two hours of remarks, prosecutor David Harbach told jurors, "This is fundamentally a simple case.... The single, simple question is, why? Why did [Jonnie Williams] give [the gifts and loans]? Why did [Bob McDonnell] take them?" The answer, Harbach said, was the McDonnells were badly in debt, and Williams was willing to provide help if they would promote his tobacco-based supplement, Anatabloc.
  • After lunch, Maureen McDonnell's lawyer emphasized that she was not a public officials. "Even if [Maureen] did agree to promote [Williams'] company in exchange for loans and gifts, she would be guilty of no crime.... That is because Maureen was a volunteer, nothing more." Then the defense attacked Williams’ testimony, telling the jurors, “A case built on the word of Jonnie Williams is the very definition of reasonable doubt."

Day 24 - Thursday, Aug. 28

The jurors were sent home after the prosecution rested its case.

  • An FBI agent testified Thursday that former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife spent many nights together in the governor's mansion, a final effort to undercut the defense argument that the couple's failing marriage made a conspiracy implausible. The agent was the final witness jurors heard from in the McDonnells' public corruption trial.
  • Bob McDonnell's attorney, John Brownlee, challenged the methodology and conclusions, rattling off 20 occasions when McDonnell did not arrive at the governor's mansion until 11 p.m. or later, implying that the couple couldn't have had much time together on those nights.

Day 23 - Wednesday, Aug. 27

The defense for Virginia's former first lady rested its case.

  • Bob and Maureen McDonnell's eldest daughter took the stand in her mother's defense Wednesday morning. Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky portrayed a difficult relationship between her parents as she grew up -- one that didn't improve over time -- and said her mother had a "mild obsession" with businessman Jonnie Williams.
  • Among the gifts, trips and loans Williams lavished on the family was a $10,000 monetary wedding gift to Zubowsky. Asked when she returned the money, Zubowsky had an icy reply: "When I realized Jonnie himself was a criminal." Prosecutors immediately objected.

Day 22 - Tuesday, Aug. 26

Cross-examination of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell ended but that was not before the ex-governor faced the most pointed questions yet.

  • The prosecution grilled the former governor on the specific timeline of when he received the gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams, trying to make the case that it lines up with McDonnell promoting Williams' company and its tobacco-based supplement Anatabloc. But on the stand McDonnell was adamant that the money he received from Williams in 2012 was for MoBo, the small real estate company he owned with his sister -- not for him personally and not in exchange for favors.
  • For most of the day, prosecutors asked Bob McDonnell about a series of emails and notes in February 2012 in which McDonnell was trying to finalize a $50,000 loan from Williams to MoBo. While that was going on, the McDonnells prodded state officials about doing research to help Anatabloc, prosecutors said. McDonnell insists the loan from Williams was a business transaction between friends, not payback for his help in promoting Anatabloc.
  • Prosecutor Michael Dry asked point blank, "You knew that March 6, 2012, loan was really a personal loan to you?" McDonnell replied loudly, angrily: "Mr. Dry, that is absolutely false! It is a loan to MoBo."

Day 21 - Monday, Aug. 25

Federal prosecutors challenged the "broken marriage" defense.

  • Prosecutors showed Monday that the couple vacationed together 18 times in 22 months. They also showed pictures of the McDonnells arriving at court holding hands earlier this year.
  • Prosecutors also tried to show that McDonnell was very involved with his finances and desperately needed money that eventually came from a wealthy businessman, former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams.
  • The cross-examination began with McDonnell acknowledging that he knew Williams had loaned him and his wife $120,000 and provided numerous expensive gifts, including $15,000 to pay for catering at the wedding of the McDonnells' daughter, personal vacations in Cape Cod and Smith Mountain Lake, and golf outings.

Day 20 - Friday, Aug. 22

Bob McDonnell again took the stand, but this time the defense questioned him on the specifics of gifts and loans he received. A good deal of the day was spent in an attempt to debunk allegations that the former first couple of Virginia had accepted those gifts from Williams in exchange for promoting his company. McDonnell said in his heart he was innocent and testified he had not committed a crime while he was governor of Virginia.

  • The former governor said he personally negotiated two of the three loans from Williams: the $50,000 and $20,000 loans, which were written to MoBo Realty, the company that he operated with his sister. He said MoBo Realty was facing an operating loss, so the pair turned to personal loans instead of bank loans.
  • Bob McDonnell said the reason he did not include the loans on his annual Statement of Economic Interest was because they were corporate liabilities, which he said he did not believe needed to be included. Earlier in the trial, the prosecution alleged he had tried to conceal those loans by not disclosing them on the statement.
  • The defense revisited an incident that seemed incriminating. McDonnell drove Williams' Ferrari back from Williams' vacation home the same night that he asked a top aide to attend a meeting between Williams and Maureen McDonnell about Anatabloc -- one of Star Scientific's products. Bob McDonnell said he had not been asked to provide the aide, but rather had wanted a health official to monitor the meeting.
  • Bob McDonnell said he was expecting the first loan from Williams to be a $50,000 cash loan, but he said Williams began discussing a stock option as collateral. Bob McDonnell said he only wanted the cash, not the stock.
  • McDonnell said he realized in retrospect that the golf outings he received from Williams should have been recorded, but he said the $15,000 wedding gift that Williams gave his daughter was not included on his 2011 Statement of Economic Interest because he believed it was for his daughter, not himself.
  • The defense revisited Bob McDonnell's loan documents, which the prosecution's evidence showed had been amended shortly after McDonnell and his wife had learned they were under investigation. Bob McDonnell said the decision to refinance had already been made when he noticed errors on the documents. He said when his wife was interviewed by police, they were under the impression it was for an unrelated matter. The investigation was actually about Jonnie Williams. After the meeting McDonnell amended the loan documents to include details of his loans from Williams, his retirement accounts and stock in Star Scientific Inc. McDonnell said he did not think those needed to be included when he first filed the documents.

Day 19 - Thursday, Aug. 21

Bob McDonnell continued his testimony. He spoke a great deal about his marriage to wife Maureen, how it had deteriorated, and even revealed they are no longer living together.

  • Bob McDonnell went into detail about his marriage, which he said had severely deteriorated. This is another key element of the defense's argument: that the couple could not have been conspiring with each other when they received gifts from Williams, because their marriage had broken down.
  • The former governor told the court he concluded his marriage was over in September 2011. He said that by that year, he had begun working late to avoid his wife's complaints. He said the gradual deterioration of their marriage came to a head after Maureen McDonnell rebuffed his attempts to spend Labor Day weekend with her that year. The jury was presented with an email Bob McDonnell wrote to his wife after that incident, in which he lamented her anger and said he was "exhausted."
  • He also revealed that a week before the trial began, he moved into a rectory to live with a priest who was a friend of his (although not the priest who testified the day before).
  • Bob McDonnell also said that his marriage deteriorated as his political career advanced. He said his wife did not take well to the role of first lady, calling her handling of behind-the-scenes matters "a disaster." He said that her stress led to problems with staff at his mansion.
  • Bob McDonnell offered a prelude to the bulk of the defense's case. He testifyied that he had done "nothing unusual" for Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for the gifts from Williams, other than giving them "access to government."

Day 18 - Wednesday, Aug. 20

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell finally took the stand shortly before 3:30 p.m. Before he did, though, a priest, a forensic accountant, and several others testified in his defense.

  • McDonnell testified that his administration did nothing unusual for Star Scientific. "My administration did nothing for them other than give them access to government," McDonnell said.
  • He also testified about the fine line elected officials walk when accepting donations or gifts and about how busy his life was when campaigning for and serving as attorney general and governor.
  • A forensic accountant, J. Allen Kosowsky, testified that the McDonnells were on sound financial footing when they accepted gifts from Williams. This was a key piece of testimony as prosecutors had alleged financial distress was a reason that the couple accepted those gifts.
  • The defense showed jurors a chart that suggested the former first couple's credit card debt was declining and that they would have had the means to access other cash if needed.
  • However, during cross-examination of Kosowsky, prosecutors cut away at some of the assets that contributed to his assessment of the couple's credit. Prosecutors showed that the improvement in the couple's credit was largely due to loans from Williams.
  • Todd Haymore, secretary of agriculture and forestry testified that Bob McDonnell never asked him to do anything for Williams or Star Scientific Inc.
  • Daniel Cook, a CPA who had done taxes for the McDonnells, testified that the loans from Williams were never concealed from him. However,  prosecutors noted that Williams' name was not mentioned in connection with those loans.
  • Workplace consultant James Burke testified that staff members at the governor's mansion had threatened to resign en masse. He said he had suggested to Bob McDonnell that his wife receive counseling.
  • A priest who is a friend of Bob McDonnell took the stand right before the former governor. Father Timothy Scully told jurors that Bob McDonnell is a man of integrity who "embodies virtue."

Day 17 - Tuesday, Aug. 19

Bob McDonnell's youngest sister, also named Maureen McDonnell and a partner with Bob in MoBo Real Estate, took the stand to testify about her brother's character, his wife, the couple's relationship and her own finances. An accountant testified as an expert about the McDonnells financial strength. And working conditions in the governor's mention were brought up again in testimony by a former special assistant to the first lady.

  • Maureen C. McDonnell -- who earned more than a half million dollars in 2012 -- testified that she could have helped her brother or erased MoBo's red ink at any time.
  • But on cross examination, prosecutors challenged her claim, asking if that were true, why did MoBo rack up so many bank late fees and even get the water cut off at the beach houses for failure to pay bills.Maureen C. McDonnell blamed the man who had handled the MoBo finances for years, her ex-husband Michael Uncapher. She further explained she had fallen ill after the birth of her daughter, and her husband was tasked with taking care of the whole family.
  • She also testified that loans from Williams were not the only option, just the first, and when she paid them back in summer 2013, she simply made a withdrawal from a 401K and sold some stock.
  • Maureen C. McDonnell testified about warm memories of how first lady Maureen P. McDonnell helped care for the McDonnell siblings' mother when she was dying. But she also spoke of hearing or seeing the former first lady hide things from Bob McDonnell, work a situation to her benefit and be untruthful about it to her husband.
  • The final witness Tuesday testified as an expert to the financial strength of Maureen C. McDonnell, Bob and Maureen McDonnell, and MoBo. But prosecutors brought up accountant J. Allen Kosowsky's fee, $420 per hour after an unexplained 20 percent discount. He testified he's earned $60,000-$80,000 on this trial including about $3,000 for appearing in court Tuesday.
  • Kathleen Scott worked for the first lady for 21 months beginning in October 2011. Scott testified about how much Maureen McDonnell liked Jonnie Williams. Though Scott didn’t observe them together, when Williams was discussed, "She seemed enamored with him, infatuated. I think he made her feel special."
  • Scott also testified about Maureen McDonnell's behavior at the governor's mansion. The mansion staff hoped for help from VCU 's Jim Burke, who'd been hired to consult on putting that team together. He advised the staff cope by approaching Maureen McDonnell as if they were dealing with a 5-year-old.

Day 16 - Monday, Aug. 18

The defense for Bob McDonnell began its case, with former staffers for the former governor and cabinet members taking the stand.

  • Former Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly said Bob McDonnell was one of the most honest people she knows, but described Maureen McDonnell's behavior as "challenging" and "very difficult, very demanding, very diva-ish."
  • Kelly testified that Williams once tried to sell her stock in Star Scientific, but she didn't have a good feeling about it. She also described an interaction between Williams and Maureen McDonnell as "kind of flirty."
  • She also testified that McDonnell never asked her to appoint or hire anyone affiliated with Williams to any board or position.
  • While James Cheng, McDonnell's secretary of commerce, described several ways in which the government could help businesses, he said McDonnell never used them for the benefit of Star Scientific or Williams.
  • On cross examination, the government asked Cheng that if McDonnell asked him to meet with a businessman, would Cheng want to know about $120,000 in personal loans from the businessman to McDonnell. Cheng said they would not care about that and would remain focused on the best interests of the state.
  • Former Secretary of Education Laura Fornash testified that at no time did McDonnell ask for advocating for Star Scientific or Jonnie Williams to state universities. Secretary of Finance Richard Brown said McDonnell never asked for or discussed allocating money for Star Scientific, Williams or a dietary supplement.
  • Neal Noyes, retired director of the tobacco commission, also testified that McDonnell did not lobby for a grant to study Anatabloc.
  • Brenda Chamberlain -- a bookkeeper for MoBo Realty, a company owned by Bob McDonnell and his sister -- also testified as the defense tried to show there was no attempt to hide $70,000 in loans to MoBo. Chamberlain said she was given full access to the accounts and could see the loans. However, during cross-examination, the government showed Williams wasn't named, only his Starwood Trust.
  • The day began with the loss of another juror, who had to step down due to a family emergency. Just one alternate juror remains.

Day 15 - Friday, Aug. 15

Bob and Maureen McDonnell's attorneys had filed motions to dismiss the 14 corruption charges Friday morning, saying the prosecution had failed to prove the couple had violated any laws. But Judge James R. Spencer denied them.

  • Lawyers argued that McDonnell had done nothing to provide Williams with anything of real value other than set up meetings and attend events. Defense attorney Ryan Newman said prosecutors are interpreting the law too broadly, in a way that could criminalize routine political courtesies and put other politicians at risk for prosecution.
  • Spencer rejected that argument and said he would provide a written explanation at a later time.

Day 14 - Thursday, Aug. 14

The prosecution rested their case.

  • The prosecution rested its case, but concluded by revealing the grand total of the gifts the McDonnells accepted from Williams: $177,044.06.
  • Jurors were shown many of the gifts that Williams gave the McDonnell family, including designer dresses, shoes, golf clubs and other luxury items.
  • The jurors will take Friday, Aug. 15 off and reconvene on Monday, Aug. 18, when the defense is expected to begin its case.

Day 13 - Wednesday, Aug. 13

The mayor of Virginia Beach, William Sessoms, and a loan official testified that the McDonnells failed to disclose loans and debt on financial applications.

  • Mayor Sessoms, who is also the president of TowneBank's parent company, took the stand. He testified that Bob McDonnell failed to disclose loans taken from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams on an application to refinance a TowneBank loan. 
  • Later in the day a loan official from Pentagon Federal Credit Union took the stand. She was questioned by prosecutors about her communications with the McDonnells when they were attempting to refinance four properties in Jan. 2013. She testified that Bob McDonnell did not reveal the Williams' loans or his Star Scientific stock on the refinance application.
  • It was also revealed that three days after the McDonnells learned they were under investigation for corruption, Bob McDonnell filed a revised loan application form that did include details of the stock and the loans.
  • The final witness was an FBI Special Agent. He showed the jury an extensive color-coded chart that outlined all of the records, phone calls and documents investigators had collected. The evidence showed the couple had a lot of credit card debt. Prosecutors allege financial distress was one of the reasons the couple accepted gifts from Williams.
  • Finally, prosecutors attempted to discredit a key part of the defense's case: that the couple were not conspiring because their marriage was on the rocks, and that Maureen McDonnell had a crush on Williams. They pointed to phone records that show Maureen McDonnell had more telephone conversations with her husband than with Williams between 2011 and 2013.

Day 12 - Tuesday, Aug. 12

Former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams’ brother Donnie, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and a state police investigator who first questioned Maureen McDonnell took the stand Tuesday.

  • Former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams’ brother Donnie testified he worked at Bob and Maureen McDonnell’s private home about a dozen times in 2012 and 2013. Before the investigation became public, Maureen McDonnell did not pay him for anything, Donnie Williams said, but she offered to pay for his work several times.
  • Prosecutors also questioned the Virginia State Police special agent who first questioned the Maureen McDonnell about some of the checks from Jonnie Williams. On Feb. 15, 2013, Maureen McDonnell was only expecting to answer questions about an embezzling case involving the former chef of the governor’s mansion. Maureen McDonnell's lawyers grilled Hagan about failing to tell her what the meeting was really about or that she was under investigation. Asked if he advised her about her right to an attorney, Hagan said, “It wasn't a custodial interview.”
  • Day 12 of the corruption trial began with courtroom drama and a delay in proceedings as one of the jurors was dismissed. U.S. District Judge James Spencer met twice in chambers with prosecutors and lawyers for the former governor and his wife for an extended time. When Judge James Spencer came onto the bench, he revealed that a juror had been dismissed and would be replaced by one of the three remaining alternates.
  • When court proceedings got underway Tuesday, former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore returned to the stand and wrapped up testimony about his time working for Williams. Kilgore, who left office in 2005, was hired by Williams in 2011 to try to find state money to do research on the dietary supplement, Anatabloc. Kilgore testified he proposed a two pronged plan: getting grant money from the tobacco commission or convincing the governor to add a request for research funds to his state budget proposal. Through cross-examination, lawyers for both Bob and Maureen McDonnell were able to underscore the fact that Kilgore never succeeded in getting Williams what they'd discussed.

Day 11 - Monday, Aug. 11

Bob McDonnell's former brother-in-law testified about beach houses that were apparently costing McDonnell and his sister tens of thousands of dollars each year. Testimony also came from former McDonnell insiders. Two administration officials recalled a March 2012 meeting that ended with Bob McDonnell pulling out a bottle of Anatabloc, a supplement made by Star Scientific, telling the group it had helped him. And McDonnell's former chief of staff said he was alerted to Star Scientific when the company nearly issued a press release that Kent and other staffers had to make sure got revised.

  • Michael Uncapher, the ex-husband of Bob McDonnell's sister, said that two beach houses owned by the siblings lost as much as $60,000 a year. Uncapher testified he was on the phone twice with Maureen and Williams as the two talked about the houses. In 2012, Williams allegedly wrote two checks to help with the houses, one for $50,000 and one for $20,000.
  • Defense attorneys tried to counter the portrayal that the McDonnells turned to Williams because they were desperate for money. Uncapher testified his then-wife -- who was a partner with Bob McDonnell in a real estate company called MoBo -- made a half million dollars that year.
  • The former secretary of administration, Lisa Hicks-Thomas, testified that she remembered McDonnell pulling a bottle of Anatabloc from his pocket and saying that it "would be good for state employees, and he asked us if we would meet with them."
  • But Sara Wilson, the director of the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management, remembered that incident slightly differently. "I had no idea why he pulled it out," she said. "There was no ask. it was personal."
  • Earlier Monday, Bob McDonnell's former chief of staff, Martin Kent, said that Star Scientific wasn't on his radar until just before a planned lunch at the governor's mansion in August 2011. He was alerted because Star Scientific was poised to issue a press release about the launch of Anatabloc -- and the release appeared to say it would happen at the mansion with the McDonnells' blessing. Kent and other staffers made sure the company revised the news release.

Day 10 - Friday, Aug. 8

A former staffer for Bob McDonnell and a former Star Scientific board chairman were among those who testified.

  • The former deputy chief of staff, Matt Conrad, was asked, "Were there any concerns the first lady was putting gifts in closets, hoarding gifts?" He answered, "I had heard that there were piles of gifts or things were being put in closets that needed to be acknowledged or determined who they were intended for."
  • Conrad testified Friday there were worries that some gifts being delivered to the governor's mansion might have been for both the governor and first lady, and should have been recorded. The gift hoarding question seems to have little to do with the corruption charges facing the first couple, so it's unclear why the defense raised it.
  • Paul Perito -- who served as Star Scientific's board chairman when Williams was CEO -- testified that he didn't know that Williams was giving gifts to the McDonnells until 2013, when the investigation began. Perito testified at first, he was wary when Williams, his colleague and close friend, told him that he was befriending the McDonnells in hopes of getting their support for Star Scientific's new dietary supplement, Anatabloc. But Perito was won over, especially when he went to an August 2011 lunch at the governor's mansion with university researchers on the day Star Scientific launched Anatabloc.
  • Perito had a much different thought in early 2012, when Williams asked him whether Maureen McDonnell could join Star Scientific's board of directors. "I thought it was the worst idea I ever heard...." Perito said on the stand. "It's a thicket of potential conflict."

Day Nine - Thursday, Aug. 7

Sarah Scarbrough, who ran the governor's mansion under Bob McDonnell, said the governor worshipped the ground his wife walked on during the time she worked with them. Her testimony that the McDonnells appeared to be in love undercuts an argument by the defense that the marriage had deteriorated to the point that the couple rarely communicated, much less engaged in a criminal conspiracy. Virginia Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. William Hazel testified about the special treatment he said he witnessed.

  • Under cross examination from Bob McDonnell's lawyer, Scarbrough also confirmed that she told FBI investigators she believed he was in denial about his wife's mental capacity.
  • Scarbrough,who is also a close personal friend of the McDonnells' daughter Cailin, repeated in less colorful terms some of what the first lady's chief of staff said on Day Eight, saying she'd previously described Mrs. McDonnell as sneaky and that it was "her way or the highway."
  • Prosecutors focused on a February 2012 reception for health care leaders. Scarbrough testified while the original guest list came from Virginia's Health and Human Services secretary, Maureen McDonnell later added a list that included Williams and several doctors and staffers affiliated with his company.
  • Hazel said he did not believe Williams' claims about the Star Scientific dietary supplement he was pitching. Hazel indicated he had as little regard for Williams as he did for his product, which the health secretary at one point called "Anatabuse." He said he once asked not to be seated next to Williams at a reception because, "Frankly, I thought it would be a very long evening."
  • His department was working with the governor and first lady’s staff to hold a health care leaders reception at the governor’s mansion. Hazel testified he was angered when the names of about 25 people, including Williams and other Star Scientific representatives, were added to the original guest list.
  • Hazel's most damaging testimony came when the prosecutor asked whether he's seen any other group get the treatment Williams and Star Scientific received. “I can't recall there was ever a situation quite like this one,” he said. “I don't think there was the involvement, the repeated contacts. The mansion event was unique.”

Day Eight - Wednesday, Aug. 6

The woman who served as chief of staff to Maureen McDonnell testified that the couple's marriage seemed solid. She said Maureen McDonnell even let her read a "lovely'' poem her husband had written to her for a special occasion in 2011.

  • Prosecutors asked Mary-Shea Sutherland about the McDonnells' relationship to counter a defense assertion that the union was on the rocks and that Maureen McDonnell had developed a crush on former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams.
  • Sutherland testified Maureen McDonnell was often anything but happy, and she told FBI investigators the first lady was a "nut bag." She said the first lady was prone to screaming rages. Twice, the security detail at the mansion responded to see what was wrong.
  • Sutherland said Maureen McDonnell volunteered the governor's mansion as the location of an August 2011 lunch with university researchers Williams hoped would test his product, but Williams' company came up with the guest list.
  • The issue of the couple's finances also came up. "They were buried in debt," Sutherland testified.

Day Seven - Tuesday, Aug. 5

Several staffers from former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration testified Tuesday about their familiarity with businessman Jonnie Williams and his showy style.

  • Jason Eige, the governor's senior policy advisor, testified he was wary of Williams and warned McDonnell about him even before McDonnell took office.
  • Former McDonnell scheduler Monica Block said Tuesday that Maureen McDonnell had a "blind spot" when it came to Williams, but she didn't see romance between them. Block first took the stand Monday, testifying about events the former first couple attended with Williams. Among them was one in Richmond that was a last-minute addition to McDonnell's schedule while the General Assembly was in session, which Block said was unusual.
  • The second witness to testify Tuesday was former Virginia health official Mollie Huffstetler, who had been tasked with attending a meeting at the governor's mansion with Maureen McDonnell and Jonnie Williams on Aug. 1, 2011.

Day Six - Monday, Aug. 4

Williams, the prosecution's star witness, finished testifying, and a former adviser to Bob McDonnell took the stand.

  • Bob McDonnell's defense continued to call into question whether Williams was telling the truth about his dealings with the governor, focusing on the $50,000 check written from Williams to Mobo Realty in March 2012. Williams was unable to cite a specific example of something he got from the governor in the months following the check delivery but pointed to a gathering of health care leaders at the governor's mansion, where Williams was permitted to invite anyone he wanted for a discussion about Anatabloc.
  • Williams also testified that he never had any physical relationship with Maureen McDonnell and never witnessed or heard from the first lady about any tension between the McDonnells. He also said he "didn't know Mrs. McDonnell had any interest in me until this past week."
  • Following Williams’ testimony, one of Bob McDonnell's former advisers, Phil Cox, testified he was on the campaign trail with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, when Maureen McDonnell tried to push Anatabloc on Ann Romney, suggesting it could help her multiple sclerosis. He also testified he faced Maureen McDonnell's wrath in 2009. When he found out Jonnie Williams wanted to buy her an Oscar de la Renta dress for the inauguration. He nixed the idea and she sent him a scathing email on Christmas Eve.

Day Five - Friday, Aug. 1

The defense attacked the credibility of the prosecution's key witness, as Williams took the stand for a third day.

  • Maureen McDonnell's defense attorney showed that Maureen and Williams had shared more than 1,200 texts and calls over a nearly two-year period, including 52 in one day. On the day of the earthquake in Virginia in 2011, Maureen allegedly wrote to Williams in an email, "I felt the EARTH MOVE AND I WASNT HAVING SEX!!!!"
  • Maureen McDonnell's attorney Bill Burck challenged Williams on his changing version of events to the FBI and prosecutors. He also zeroed in on a deal Williams made with a friend to transfer Star Scientific stock shares in exchange for $10 million. Williams made the arrangement to swap stock for cash because he thought it would look bad to seek a lot of his company's stock.
  • Bob McDonnell's attorney Henry Asbill pressed Williams on whether the former governor had been aware of a shopping spree Williams took the first lady on. Williams said he assumed the governor would have seen the shopping bags and known about the shopping trip -- an assumption Asbill pressed.

Day Four - Thursday, July 31

Williams' testimony continued. Prosecutors questioned him on his relationship with the McDonnells, the gifts he gave and how they helped him promote Star Scientific's dietary supplement Anatabloc. Late in the day, defense attorneys began questioning Williams.

  • A key witness in the trial testified that at an event, Williams inadvertently introduced Maureen McDonnell as "the governor of Virginia" -- and when corrected, he told her, "You're the governor to me."
  • When asked if he had a romantic relationship with Maureen, Williams said no.
  • A voice mail and evidence of a meeting between Williams and then-Gov. McDonnell showed a direct connection between the two.
  • Upon ending the day's testimony, the judge remarked, "We're going to stop here because I can't take another second."

Day Three - Wednesday, July 30

Both Williams and his former assistant Jerri Fulkerson testified under immunity from charges. It was the first time that Williams' testimony had been heard.

  • At noon, we reported that Fulkerson answered questions about arranging trips for the McDonnell family and writing $70,000 in loan checks for the couple. She said that she was acting on Williams' orders. Prosecutors also showed the jury a list of documents that detailed the gifts that Williams bestowed on the family. This included the use of Williams' Ferrari while the couple vacationed at Williams' multimillion-dollar vacation home.
  • At 6 p.m., Carey reported that Williams had taken the witness stand for the first time, to describe his relationship with the McDonnells. He said that when he first met Maureen McDonnell, she told him she needed a dress for her husband's inaugural ball, and he offered to buy her one. The jury also heard from one of the McDonnells' sons, Bobby McDonnell. He said that Williams was like a mentor to him and gave him a bag of golf clubs as a gift, which Bobby McDonnell said his father told him to return.

Day Two - Tuesday, July 29

Opening statements from both prosecution and defense attorneys were given -- and they brought with them two huge revelations.

  • At 6 p.m., Carey reported that the defense alleged that there could have been no conspiracy between McDonnell and his wife because their marriage had broken down, and the pair were barely on speaking terms. Furthermore, they said that Maureen had developed romantic feelings for Williams.
  • Later that evening, we reported on the day's events and elaborated on the testimony of the  McDonnells' daughter Cailin McDonnell Young. Williams' financing of the catering at Young's wedding sparked the federal investigation into the McDonnells' political dealings. We also reported that Bob McDonnell's lawyer said Williams had deceived the couple and that the former governor would testify on his own behalf.

Day One - Monday, July 28

The trial began at the U.S. District Court in Richmond, but most of the day was consumed by jury selection.

  • At 5 p.m., Carey reported that jury selection was still underway, and she outlined the background of the trial. She explained that Williams was expected to be a star witness in the case and that he would testify with the promise of immunity. McDonnell and his wife arrived separately -- a harsh contrast to the united front they had displayed during hearings.
  • At 6 p.m., Carey reported that jury selection had overrun the court's usual schedule, and that the 150 candidates had been held back, to select the final 14. Carey explained a little about the selection process and more about the witnesses expected in the trial -- including the McDonnells' children.
  • By 10 p.m., we reported that the jury had been chosen and our story contained expanded details about the upcoming trial.
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