Prosecutors in the public corruption trial of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnell have now rested their case—and the final day in the courtroom seemed like a runway fashion show.
It was like a cross between "Project Runway" and "CSI: Richmond." Prosecutors trotted out dozens of pieces of high-end items that the McDonnells returned to businessman Jonnie Williams after state and federal investigators started probing their relationship. There was the Oscar de la Renta dress, the Rolex watch, the Rebecca Minkoff shoes and the Calloway golf clubs.
"There's an element of theater," says Michael Levy, white-collar defense attorney.
"And then it's the most powerful evidence that the government has of the inference they are trying to get the jury to draw."
Prosecutors aimed to show the McDonnells sold their power and influence to help Williams promote a tobacco-based nutritional supplement known as Anatabloc.
"These were deeply personal specific items," says Rich Kelsey, assistant dean of the George Mason School of Law.
"And the prosecution wanted to parade them out one at a time to make sure the jury understood that this is exactly not the way you make political contributions."
The defense will start Monday morning.