The federal corruption trial for the former Governor and First Lady moved into the final stretch as Bob McDonnell wrapped up his testimony.
As he took the stand for a fifth day Tuesday, prosecutors continued hammering him about loans and gifts from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.
McDonnell doesn’t deny he and his wife accepted $177,000 in loans and gifts, but insists he did not promote Williams’ dietary supplement in return.
Prosecutors used the timing of conversations, emails and events to suggest differently.
In early 2012 McDonnell agreed he discussed options with Williams for a $50,000 loan to his real estate company.
A few day later, prosecutors say Maureen emailed McDonnell’s senior policy advisor, Jasen Eige, about the status of Anatabloc studies at UVA and VCU while sitting next to her husband in the car.
Maureen asked Eige to call Williams and wrote the “Gov wants to get this going with VCU and UVA”. She also told Eige to let her and McDonnell know what he finds out when they return.
McDonnell insisted he didn’t discuss the email with Maureen nor did he know she even sent it.
But, just days after that, prosecutors say McDonnell emailed his senior policy advisor himself about the studies.
“Pls see me about Anatabloc issues at UVA and VCU,” McDonnell wrote.
The most interesting thing about McDonnell’s email is that prosecutors say he sent it six minutes after emailing Williams regarding the $50,000 loan.
“If you’re suggesting that I got a $50,000 loan for MoBo to get Mr. Williams’ calls returned, you’re completely off base,” McDonnell told prosecutors.
But, prosecutors took it a step further. They say McDonnell and his wife used Williams’ personal jet to fly back to Richmond from D.C. six days after depositing the loan.
Three days after the flight, prosecutors then say McDonnell pulled out a bottle of Anatabloc at a state meeting.
McDonnell agrees he did that telling those in attendance the product had been helping him.
What he doesn’t agree with is that he asked state employees to “meet with Star Scientific people.”
McDonnell argues Williams was just a generous friend and donor who ‘offered’ to extend the loan no strings attached.
But, prosecutors imply McDonnell knows better than that.
Prosecutors wrapped up cross examination with an excerpt from McDonnell’s inaugural address where he wrote, “To whom much is given, much is received.”
As McDonnell left the stand at the end of the day, Judge James Spencer suggested the end of the trial could also be close-by.
Judge Spencer says McDonnell’s defense teams have one more witness to call. He says Maureen’s lawyers then need a few hours to wrap up their case. That means the jury could deliberate in the very near future.