Virginia Politics Likely To Be Under Microscope In McDonnell Corruption Trial | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Politics Likely To Be Under Microscope In McDonnell Corruption Trial

Play associated audio
Former Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, right, and his wife Maureen, left, leave Federal court after a motions hearing in Richmond, Va. A federal judge sided with prosecutors on most pre-trial disputes.
(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. A federal judge sided with prosecutors on most pre-trial disputes.

Federal prosecutors are about to stage a public corruption case unlike any other.

The case against former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell reads like a cross between Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and Law and Order, a story about a Boy Scout who becomes an elected official tangled up in a public corruption scandal revolving around a wealthy Virginia businessman seeking to buy power and influence.

George Mason professor Toni-Michelle Travis says the challenge for defense attorneys will be to portray the former governor as above reproach.

"They want to show that he's a straight-arrow guy and that he plays by the book, so to speak, and that therefore this conduct that he's being charged with is not in keeping with his real persona," she says.

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of motions about what evidence can be presented in court and who will be allowed to testify — a series of battles that saw prosecutors winning most of the arguments.

University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth says the defense is likely to present an indictment of the political system, a strategy that would show McDonnell as an innocent man caught up in a corrupt system.

"The McDonnells will also have an opportunity, during their part of the presentation of the evidence, to engage in a wide-ranging conversation about how business is done in Virginia politics," Farnsworth says.

In the end, Farnsworth says, that means that Virginia will look much worse when all the evidence has been presented.

The McDonnells will go on trial beginning July 28.

NPR

For P.D. James, A Good Mystery Celebrated Human Intelligence

The British author of best-selling detective stories has died at age 94. "In a sense, the detective story is a small celebration of reason and order in our very disorderly world," she told NPR.
NPR

Can Breeders Cure What Ails Our Breast-Heavy Turkeys?

The standard commercial American turkey is the product of decades of intense selective breeding. But breeding for efficiency and size has created new health problems scientists must grapple with.
NPR

EPA's Proposed Rules Add To Obama's Collision Course With GOP

The Environmental Protect Agency has drafted regulations on Ozone pollution. The latest move exposes divisions between the Obama administration and leading Republican lawmakers over the environment.
NPR

Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better?

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennials are the next generation of doctors and they're not afraid to say "chillax" in a consultation or check Twitter to find medical research.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.