McDonnell Trial: Prosecutors expect to rest their case Thursday

Posted at 9:57 AM, Aug 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-14 09:57:56-04

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Prosecutors used testimony from an FBI special agent about the timing of phone calls, texts, emails and mansion visitors logs to build their conspiracy case against the former Governor and First Lady on Wednesday.

Bob and Maureen McDonnell are accused of working together as part of a ‘corrupt agreement’ with wealthy businessman Jonnie Williams.

The former Star Scientific CEO testified that he dished out loans to the McDonnells and showered them with expensive gifts in exchange for their help promoting his dietary supplement.

Not only have defense attorneys argued Williams was just a rich and generous friend, they’re also trying to prove Mrs. McDonnell was the one helping him while her husband remained in the dark.

Special Agent David Hulser undermined that argument on the stand Wednesday.

Hulser testified that in early May 2011 phone records show Mrs. McDonnell called Williams after her husband sent his sister a text message about bank options for two beach rental properties they own in Virginia Beach.

Not long after Maureen’s call with Williams, she then forwarded Williams’ wife links to information about the properties.

The following day, Hulser pointed out a series of phone calls Maureen had with her brother-in-law, sister-in-law and husband at the time Williams was signed into the governor’s mansion for a meeting with her.

That’s around the same time prosecutors say McDonnell sent his daughter an email asking for a final head count for her wedding reception.

Later that month, Williams says he dropped off the $50,000 loan and $15,000 check for the wedding caterer.

Williams testified that he spoke to the Governor before handing the checks over. But, defense attorneys questioned whether that actually happened.

Hulser testified on the day Williams dropped off the checks, the governor scheduled more than an hour of “private work time” and that the mansion visitors log shows Williams dropped off the checks around the same time.

Even more so, Phone records for early June 2011 could prove the Governor knew about Maureen’s purchase of Star Scientific stock, despite previous testimony that she didn’t tell him.

That’s because records show Mrs. McDonnell called her husband after speaking to their stock broker on the day she bought the shares.

Prosecutors also asked Hulser about the credit card and bank statements he collected for the McDonnells.

Those statements show how both Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell benefited from the $50,000 Williams gave them.

Before depositing Williams’ check, Hulser says the couple had just under $5,000 in the bank.

Without Williams’ check, a bank statement for January 2011 to June 2011 shows the McDonnells’ account would have been in the red.

Phone records may also weaken the defense’s argument that the couple couldn’t have conspired together because their marriage was ‘broken’ and the two were hardly speaking to one another.

From April 2011 to February 2013, Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell spoke on the phone 308 times, while Mrs. McDonnell spoke to Williams 167 times.

Prosecutors expect to rest their case Thursday afternoon. Defense teams expect to start their’s Monday.