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Soap Opera-Worthy Drama Expected To Unfold In McDonnell Corruption Trial

Drama unfolded in opening statements today in the federal corruption case against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.
(AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)
Drama unfolded in opening statements today in the federal corruption case against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.

In Virginia, the corruption trail of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has turned into a soap opera.

Gasps could be heard in the courtroom as the lawyer for Maureen McDonnell revealed the former First Lady had a crush on Jonnie Williams, the businessman at the center of the scandal. It was an early moment of high drama in a trial that promises many moments of intrigue, chief among them being the testimony of McDonnell himself—who will testify in court, opening himself up to cross examination and a glaring spotlight on his personal life.

In opening statements today in the federal corruption case against the former governor, lawyers for the McDonnells painted a picture of a dysfunctional marriage falling apart as a scheming businessman tried to take advantage of them. Prosecutors say the McDonnells were at the center of a conspiracy in which the governor and his wife sold their power and influence to the highest bidder, opening the doors of state government for a businessman seeking to sell nutritional supplements made from tobacco.

The trial is expected to last at least five weeks. The governor and his wife are each facing a maximum of 30 years in federal prison.

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