Williams To Face Cross-Examination As McDonnell Trial Ends First Week | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Williams To Face Cross-Examination As McDonnell Trial Ends First Week

Play associated audio
In this May 5, 2011 file photo provided by the office of the Governor of Virginia, Jonnie Williams left, and Maureen McDonnell, wife of then Gov. Bob McDonnell, pose for a photo during a reception for a NASCAR race at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, Va.
(AP Photo/Office of the Governor of Virginia, Michele White, File)
In this May 5, 2011 file photo provided by the office of the Governor of Virginia, Jonnie Williams left, and Maureen McDonnell, wife of then Gov. Bob McDonnell, pose for a photo during a reception for a NASCAR race at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, Va.

In Virginia, businessman Jonnie Williams is expected back in court for a third day of testimony, capping off a dramatic first week in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell — a trial expected to carry on for another four weeks.

Corruption, power, romance, and lies. Week one had it all, and more. Now jurors are headed to the federal courthouse in Richmond to hear more from Jonnie Williams, the former executive of a nurtritional suppliment company. The real fireworks will start when defense attorneys rip into Williams, a man they say duped the governor and seduced his wife.

"One of the things that's complicated by the so-called 'crush defense' is really the only person who can effectively make that defense is Maureen McDonnell," says white-collar criminal defense lawyer Michael Levy. He says Maureen McDonnell's lawyers shrewdly avoided promising her testimony, giving them the option to call or not call her.

"Really the only person who can make that defense is Maureen McDonnell. Unless she gets on the stand and testifies that she had a crush on Jonnie Williams, it's very difficult to establish that defense. Who else knows about that but Maureen McDonnell?" he says.

In his opening statement, the lawyer for Maureen McDonnell tried to cast Jonnie Williams as a lecherous scoundrel, a man who changed his story so many times it was difficult to keep track of his lies. Williams will be cross examined twice, once by the legal team representing the governor, and then a second time by lawyers who say their client had an inappropriate relationship with him.

"The fact that this case seems to focus on the activities and involvements of Maureen McDonnell, who is not a public official, I think it makes it that much harder for the government to prove its case," says Levy.

If convicted, Maureen McDonnell could face a maximum of thirty years in prison.

NPR

David Oyelowo On Acting, His Royal Roots And The One Role He Won't Take

The British-born Nigerian actor talks about playing an American veteran in Nightingale, the reasons he stays in character for weeks at a time and his aversion to playing "the black best friend."
NPR

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."
NPR

5 Things You Should Know About George Pataki

For most voters, the name George Pataki might not ring a bell. But he was the last Republican elected to major statewide office in New York in more than 20 years. And he's running for president.
NPR

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision

In a new study, an easy-to-use app did just as good a job as the fancy machines in an eye doctor's office. That's a boon for people in low-income countries — and really for anyone with vision issues.

Leave a Comment

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