McDonnell Pressed About Relationship with CEO in Corruption Trial

Aug 26, 2014

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Credit official state photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors are questioning former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell about his friendship with a Virginia businessman whose generosity is at the heart of the ex-governor's corruption trial.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's tobacco-based dietary supplement.

Prosecutors allege that Williams was not so much a personal friend to McDonnell as he was a source of cash to the McDonnells, who carried large personal debts. In cross-examining McDonnell on Tuesday, they pointed out numerous documents and emails in which McDonnell routinely misspelled Williams' first name.

McDonnell has testified he came to see Williams as a friend, and that he provided nothing more than routine political courtesies to Williams.