McDonnell Trial: Opening Statements Unveil Secrets of the McDonnell's Marriage

July 29, 2014

Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen are on trial, facing 14 federal corruption charges, but their marriage is also on trial.

"I love my children very much and hate that they have to go through this, said Former Governor Bob McDonnell.

Defense attorneys for the McDonnell's describe an unhappy marriage, referencing an email Maureen sent her husband, telling him she hates him, and resented their financial problems and his long hours at work.

Their daughter Cailin backed up that idea, saying she rarely saw her father while he served as governor and attorney general. During her testimony, Cailin cried about the $15,000 catering check that Star Scientific CEO, Johnnie Williams, wrote for her wedding.

That check sparked the investigation into the McDonnells, and investigators quickly learned Williams gave them $150,000 in gifts and loans, but the question is: Why?

Prosecutors say the former First Couple liked living a lavish lifestyle they couldn't afford, and they used Williams to foot the bill, while promising access to state university researchers and promoting his newest product.

The defense says it was Williams, who used Maureen's vulnerability to get close to the governor.

"We had a positive day today, and I'm looking forward to the same tomorrow," McDonnell added.

McDonnell's defense attorney, John Brownlee, says he will testify on his behalf, saying the governor has nothing to hide.

Prosecutors are expected to call Williams' secretary to the stand, on Wednesday.


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