McDonnells Return to Court to Fight Charges

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) -- Former Va. governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen returned to court on Monday to try and have some of the corruption charges against them dismissed. Their case revolves around charges that they accepted more than $150,000 in gifts from the CEO of a dietary supplements company all in exchange to promote the company.

Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two of them are also trying to separate their cases from one another.

Several things being talked about Monday, including four motions in the case.

One motion asks for 11 of the corruption charges dismissed. In that motion, McDonnell said the charges aren't criminal offenses because he said he did not do them in his official role as governor. That idea is likely to be a big topic in this case as it moves forward.

Another motion reads that the McDonnell and his wife should have separate trials because the McDonnell team says a joint trial would limit the former governor's ability to present evidence showing he's not guilty. Maureen McDonnell said she would testify in her husband's defense in a separate trial, but would plead the fifth in her defense. This means that if they are co-defendants, the defense wouldn't be able to use her testimony, which they say helps the former governor's case.

With all of these motions, it could be a contentious trial.

"The defense in particular is trying to portray the prosecution as sort of going awry, going beyond what they normally should do in a case like this. And will probably try to cast it very much in political terms as well," said Marshall Yoder, a local attorney.

Two other motions worth noting, one focuses on some of the allegations in the indictment, which the defense calls unnecessary, and another is about the need for an extensive jury selection process. The defense said it needs to be more thorough because potential jurors may have preconceived opinions about him.


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