RICHMOND, Va. – Defense attorneys will continue to challenge the credibility of the prosecution's key witness against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, when the couple's public corruption trial resumes Monday.
The McDonnells are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for helping promote his company's products. They could face decades in prison if convicted.
Testifying under immunity, Williams said last week that he and the McDonnells had had a business relationship and were not personal friends. Defense attorneys sought to contradict that claim by noting that Williams and Maureen McDonnell exchanged more than 1,200 text messages and phone calls in less than two years.
Maureen McDonnell's attorney said in opening statements that the first lady developed a "crush" on Williams and was conned into believing he cared for her. Williams testified there was no romantic relationship.
He said Maureen McDonnell requested many of the gifts — including a $20,000 shopping spree for designer clothes in Manhattan and a Rolex watch for her husband — as well as a $50,000 to bail the couple out of financial trouble. Williams said Bob McDonnell asked for an additional $20,000 loan later.
He also detailed many of the events the McDonnells attended to promote his company's signature product, Anatabloc.