Defense Begins In Corruption Trial Of Former Virginia Governor

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, leave the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, on January 24, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. McDonnell and his wife Maureen pleaded not guilty to a 14 count criminal indictment from federal grand jury charging that the couple violated federal corruption laws by using their positions to benefit a wealthy businessman who gave them gifts and loans. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Defense witnesses will present testimony beginning today in the trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen. The couple face a 14-count indictment alleging they accepted more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from businessman Jonnie Williams, in exchange for promoting his dietary supplement company Star Scientific Inc.

Reporter Michael Pope of WAMU has been following the trial and he tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that the defense strategy is to focus on the state of the McDonnells’ marriage and the unlikelihood they would scheme to get favors from Williams.

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