Even under oath, he denies any wrongdoing
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell claims he did nothing wrong when he accepted $70,000 in loans from fellow businessman Jonnie Williams.. McDonnell ended his third day of testimony saying “I spent 38 years in public office, and I would not trade that for a golf match or dinner with anybody.” McDonnell and his wife are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts from Williams in exchange for promoting William’s company’s dietary supplements.
McDonnell was asked whether he committed the crimes, he’s been charged with and said no. He does take responsibility for the decisions that landed him in court. McDonnell and his supporters have long said that he may have used bad judgment but did not break any laws. Friday’s testimony focused on the gifts he received from Williams. His wife’s legal team will question McDonnell on Monday.
Virginia has to most loos laws in regards to gifts received by public officials. A governor can accept just about any gift, but he must report anything valued at $50 or more. In addition, if a company or individual gives him several smaller gifts, he must disclose those when the total amount reaches $100. The former governor faces 14 counts including claim that he understated his liabilities on both 2012 and 2013 loan applications.
Prosecutors are attacking McDonnell saying that Williams gave these gifts to gain access to other state officials. According to his testimony, McDonnell said Williams did not receive any special treatment compared to what he would have given any other state company. They also claim that he was desperate need of money, however the governor rebutted by showing the jury that he had an excellent credit score during the time in question.
McDonnell claimed he misjudged Williams and said he thought was a true friend. “I had no idea he would come into federal court and make false statements about me.” Thursday’s testimony focused on his “broken marriage” which the defense was working on building up the claim that the McDonnell’s could not have been conspiring because they were barely speaking during most of the Governor’s term.
The former governor’s wife faces the same 14 charges but will not be taking the stand in her own defense. She has a separate defense team apart from the Governor.
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