RICHMOND, Va. — Two weeks before former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen go on trial for corruption, the couple’s case went before a federal court judge in Richmond.
Judge James Spencer will soon decide if some well-known Virginians will be allowed to testify as experts on behalf of the former first couple.
Thursday, Attorney Peter White, took the stand. The McDonnell legal team wants White to testity how Jonnie Williams (the prosecution’s star witness) beneifted from his immunity deal struck with federal investigators in a seperate SEC investigation.
White admitted he is being paid by the McDonnell legal team $490 dollars an hour to be an expert witness. He says he has bill them about six or seven hours so far.
Legal analysts believe White’s testimony could undermine what Williams is expected to say at trial.
US Attorney Michael Dry questioned White’s credibility to testify as an expert witness saying that if he is allowed it will create a “sideshow.”
Williams is the donor who gave the McDonnell’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans. The prosecution says they were given in a corruption scheme. The McDonnell’s say Williams got nothing for the generoisty.
Apart from what happened in court, the McDonnell’s arrived seperately in court for the first time. While they left in the same vehicle, they did not acknowledge each other in the courtroom – a sharp difference from what they did in previous hearings where they were often seen hand in hand.
The McDonnells will return to court Tuesday to argue for another witness’s credibility.
Their trial is slated to begin July 28th.
“The judge is the gatekeeper and makes the decision about what is relevant and admissible and proper expert testimony,” CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said.