Estranged? Or just Strange?
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The Ex-Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell is letting his estranged wife take the blame for their downfall. He testified last week to looking the other way and just not noticing that his family was taking expensive gifts from health-food guru Jonnie Williams. In effect, he is throwing his wife completely under the bus like the coward he is.
So after Labor Day there should be a verdict. Stay tuned. :)
From the Daily Beast
McDonnell has been accused of taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams in exchange for government assistance promoting a health food product made from tobacco. A coterie of aides and political consultants helped the McDonnells project the image of the perfect family: Governor, Boy Scout, former Redskins cheerleader mom, five children, values up the kazoo. Behind the scenes, it was more like the Home Shopping Network. Emails reveal Maureen McDonnell lobbying Williams for an inaugural dress, eventually spending $17,000 of his money on a shopping spree in New York to cover her inaugural wardrobe and sundry other events befitting the first lady of Virginia.
. . . Maureen McDonnell may have signed off on the legal strategy. But the strained look on her face as she enters the courtroom, and the reporting on how she and her estranged husband never exchange even so much as a glance, suggest she didn’t know how awful the trial would get—that whitewashing his behavior would mean blackening hers and turning them both into objects of ridicule, not sympathy.
From CBS News
(Daughter) Jeanine McDonnell said her parents rarely spoke to each other in private, going back decades. She also said her mother developed an unusually close friendship with Williams.
Part of the McDonnells' defense is that they could not have engaged in a criminal conspiracy because they barely talked to each other. Maureen McDonnell's lawyer also said during opening statements last month that the former first lady had a crush on Williams, who "duped" her into thinking he cared for her.
While the attorney, William A. Burck, did not label Williams her "lover" or say the two had an affair, he did say that most people would call their relationship "inappropriate."
. . . "I think she had a mild obsession with Jonnie," she testified.
. . . McDonnell laid out the painful details of his marriage, step by step, sounding by turns earnest and devastated.
When he said he scolded her, during his days as Virginia attorney general, for using a campaign list to help promote her “nutraceutical” products — dietary supplements that are supposed to provide health benefits — he was clearly depicting himself as the ethical one in the relationship. But he also tried to sound like the understanding husband: “I knew she was upset about that. It was her job. It was what she was good at.”
. . . Unfortunately for McDonnell, he didn’t always hit the perfect notes when talking about the money his family received from Jonnie Williams, the businessman to whom the couple allegedly traded favors for gifts and loans.
(Prosecutor Michael) Dry ... asked McDonnell why he didn't disclose thousands of dollars worth of golf trips, clubs and accessories. Last week, McDonnell said they weren't reported because of a breakdown in the system that the staff uses to track gifts but he reiterated Monday that it was ultimately his fault the gifts weren't reported.
The judge ended today's (Aug. 25) testimony by asking Dry if he was close to being finished and Dry said he was not. The judge then looked at the jury and said, "Maybe it's just me, but does this feel like the longest day of your life?"
Bob #McDonnell, who says marriage to Maureen was on hold, asked by fedl prosecutor Dry to explain 18 vacations with her over 22 months.— Jeff E. Schapiro (@RTDSchapiro) August 25, 2014
From Richmond Times-Dispatch
Maureen McDonnell’s chief of staff depicted the former first lady Wednesday as a screaming “nutbag” in search of a designer handbag and an emotional rescue.
. . . Mary-Shea Sutherland’s testimony on day eight of the McDonnells’ federal corruption trial portrayed a frustrated first lady placated by Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a free-spending dietary-supplement impresario, then CEO of Star Scientific.
Sutherland depicted Maureen McDonnell as so undone by her privileged surroundings and financial limitations that the first lady grabbed at gifts, raged at staff, and even falsely accused the Executive Mansion chef of trying to ruin her Christmas by serving “bad shrimp.”
The tawdry testimony led some courtroom spectators to roll their eyes, shake their heads and snicker in disbelief.
It doesn't get lower than claiming that your crappy marriage is the reason you accepted bribes. #mcdonnelltrial— Barracks O'Bama (@P0TUS) August 22, 2014
Burck: "the only person that Maureen deliberately hid anything from was her husband" #mcdonnelltrial— Max Smith (@amaxsmith) August 29, 2014
Burck: "the breakdown in Bob and Maureen's relationship left a void for Jonnie Williams to fill" #mcdonnelltrial— Max Smith (@amaxsmith) August 29, 2014
Courtroom sketch artist extraordinaire Bill Hennessy helping tell the story of the #McDonnell trial @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/RNTlPKCJY4
— Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) August 29, 2014
McDonnell's "crazy wife" defense is totally unprecedented: http://t.co/dlxSGi3mU4 pic.twitter.com/pkC6vlkX8Y
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) August 28, 2014