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RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 28: Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (C) arrives for his trial at U.S. District Court with members of his legal team August 28, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. McDonnell and his wife Maureen are on trial for accepting gifts, vacations and loans from a Virginia businessman in exchange for helping his company, Star Scientific. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) / Win McNamee Getty Images

RICHMOND, Va. -- The prosecution finished its closing argument Friday in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The McDonnells are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's product, Anatabloc.

Federal prosecutor David Harbach spent two and a half hours questioning the motives of the couple. He told the jury that this investigation did not happen just because Bob McDonnell was governor. Harbach said it happened because what McDonnell did was wrong.

"They spent a lot of time talking about his 38 years of public service, wrapped in the Commonwealth flag, making you forget he stomped on it by selling out his office," Harbach said in his closing arguments.

Harbach told a story of bribery, lies and cover-ups, walking the jury through the timeline of the alleged corruption.

"Why did he (Williams) give them, why did they (McDonnells) take them?" Harbach asked, referring to gifts and loans in exchange for official acts, the alleged quid pro quo.

The story, as told by Harbach, begins with an April 2011 shopping spree in New York for Maureen McDonnell and ends with the former first lady of Virginia trying to allegedly obstruct justice after an interview with state police.

Bob McDonnell knew exactly what Jonnie Williams wanted and he used his official capacity as governor to deliver, Harbach said.

"He was on the Jonnie Williams gravy train," Harbach said.

Bob McDonnell hid gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams from his staff because "he knew his deal with Jonnie was dirty," Harbach said.

"The defense is trying to divert the blame and distract the jury from a 'mountain of evidence,'" Harbach told the jury.

Harbach walked the jury through the 14 counts in the indictment. Bob and Maureen McDonnell are both charged on counts 1 through 11 for public corruption. The former governor is charged on count 12 for making false statements to a bank. The couple is charged on count 13 for making false statements to a bank. Maureen McDonnell is charged on count 14 for obstruction.

"Don't let him sit there and stand on the coat tails of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. This is bribery. This is corruption. Don't let that stand," Harbach finished his closing argument.

Going into court at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Bob McDonnell said, "I feel good. I've just kept my eyes on the Lord and my thoughts on the facts, and that's all I can do one day at a time."

When a reporter noted that his whole family was at court, including his son, McDonnell stated, "He just got back from Vanderbilt. The whole family is here. My greatest strength and enjoyment is my five children and they're all here."

Asked whether this was the "most important campaign of your life", McDonnell replied, "It's not a campaign. It's a search for the truth. That's what the system is all about."

Defense attorneys for Maureen McDonnell and then Bob McDonnell will deliver their closing arguments next, followed by the prosecution's rebuttal.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Prosecutors finish closing arguments in McDonnell trial

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