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McDonnell questioned about friendship with exec and alleged corruption

Published:Wednesday | August 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (right) kisses his daughter Cailin as they arrive at Federal Court in Richmond, Virginia, yesterday.


Prosecutors yesterday questioned former Virginia Governor 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 yesterday, 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.