Corruption Trial Week 5 Preview: Cross Examination of Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell will return to the witness stand Monday morning.In the fifth week of his federal corruption trial, he and his wife

( AP Photo / Steve Helber )

It's not prosecutors who are exposing the slightly embarrassing and highly personal details of the former governor's troubled marriage, but it's Bob McDonnell himself.

In defending against federal charges that he and his wife conspired to take up to $177,000 in gifts in exchange for political favors.

McDonnell insisted that his marriage is in such bad shape that he and his wife are hardly speaking. Last week, he recited from private emails he sent his wife that suggested who was to blame for both the marital problems and questionable dealings that took place.

Legal analyst Scott Goodman believed the former governor helped his own cause by taking the stand.

"He helped himself a lot by taking the stand giving his explanation which is an alternative to the explanations that the prosecutor suggested," said Goodman. "He's only given his side of it through his attorneys."

Entering week two of his testimony, this week is going to be something he isn't accustomed to: cross examination.

"As a politician he has always been able to cut off questions, walk away after he was done a question, or have a press spokesman speak for him," said Goodman. "He's not going to be able to walk away from questions this week."

When he takes the stand, it's expected that the former governor will be grilled by prosecutors as they will seek clarity on the inconsistent parts of his story that simply didn't make sense. Including the infamous loan that his wife accepted from Star Scientific CEO Johnnie Williams.

"He was so upset with her for taking the money, but he never told her to give it back, he never gave it back. It's very curious, the prosecutors will suggest that he knew full well that he knew the loan was coming, that he in fact asked for it as Mr. [Johnnie] Williams said that he did," Goodman said. "Of course in keeping the money, it shows that was the reason the money was given to him, because he needed it, he wanted it and would use it."

Goodman also said he is very confident that the former governor's wife, Maureen McDonnell will not testify in the trial and that this may be the last week of testimony before deliberations among the jury began.


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