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McDonnells Back In Court Tuesday For Pre-Trial Hearing

Former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, right, and his wife Maureen, left, leave Federal court after a motions hearing in Richmond, Va.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, right, and his wife Maureen, left, leave Federal court after a motions hearing in Richmond, Va.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen appeared in federal court again yesterday. The two have pleaded not guilty to corruption charges, and the pre-trial hearing focused on which evidence and witness testimony the judge will admit.

The hearing first focused on whether McDonnell’s financial disclosures intentionally omitted gifts he or his family received from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in order to hide their relationship. Those include golf trips and paying for wedding catering for the McDonnells’ daughter.

Prosecutors also accuse the former first lady of selling off stock in Williams' company to hide earnings in excess of state reporting requirements.

While the defense argued there was some confusion about what should be reported, they also noted that former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was investigated for his acceptance of gifts and cleared. They argue McDonnell should be held to the same standard.

Next, there was the cross-examination of a defense witness who performed a forensic analysis of their finances. He said he would testify that the couple had a positive net worth to invalidate claims that the couple conspired with Williams to get them out of debt. He said that in fact, it was Williams who benefited financially from the government’s intentional delay of two civil suits against his company.

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