LIVE UPDATES: McDonnell’s broker testifies stock moves made him ‘uncomfortable’

RICHMOND, Va. — The federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, continues  at the Federal Courthouse in Richmond.

Scroll down for updates from the proceedings from CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George. [Click to follow Joe on Twitter] [Click for week one updates]

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Day 10 Summary:

The second week of the Bob and Maureen McDonnell corruption trial wrapped up Friday. It will resume at 9:45 a.m. Monday.

On the stand Friday, three witnesses:

Matt Conrad – Former Deputy Chief of Staff to Bob McDonnell

Paul Perito – Former Chairman of the Board of Star Scientific

John Piscitelli – McDonnell family broker.

Conrad testified Maureen McDonnell was known as a “hoarder” and would often hide gifts in closets in the Governors Mansion.

Conrad also testified to the extent in which McDonnell staffers had to deal with Jonnie Williams and Jonnie Williams’ events.

In particular, there was an occasion in which Star Scientific wrote a press release:

Communications Director Tucker Martin wrote in an email “Are we sure we can do something like this?”

Conrad responded “you are exactly right to be suspicious.”

After Conrad, Perito took the stand.

Perito testified that he was “weary” of the Williams/McDonnell relationship but that he also believed they would create a “halo effect” for the company particularly  when Williams believed the Governor would help his clinical studies get “paid for out of the tobacco fund.”

Perito said he was the one who shot down the idea of Mrs. McDonnell wanting to join the Star Scientific board.

Perito said Jonnie said she was “pissed” at that rejection.

Perito however suggested that a Williams also covered up the lavished gifts from him and top officials at Star Scientific.

He said he had “no idea” and that if he did “we would not be here today.”

Finally – after lunch – John Piscitelli testified.

He said he was “uncomfortable” with the stock trades Mrs. McDonnell engaged in with Star Scientific. He also testified Bob McDonnell was on a conference call discussing stock transactions at one point.

The prosecution is making a serious case that the McDonnell’s intentionally hid and even sold shares at time to avoid reporting requirements.

Piscitelli also testified that this past June – at the urging of Cailin McDonnell – Bob and Maureen McDonnell shared a dance with one another.

Some major players are still expected to testify including Martin Kent, McDonnell’s Chief of Staff, and Jerry Kilgore, former attorney general and past lawyer for Jonnie Williams.

The government is expected to wrap up their case by the end of next week. Then the McDonnell defense team will be up.

Leaving court Bob McDonnell said “I am looking forward to this trial being done.”

See you next week. My day 10 video is below.

JSG

Nick Dutton August 8, 20146:52 pm

Here’s Joe St. George’s Friday afternoon recap on the McDonnell trial. Joe will have more reports from the courthouse Monday when the third week of the trial begins.

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Nick Dutton August 8, 201412:28 pm

Here’s Jerrita Patterson’s update on day ten of the McDonnell trial from CBS 6 News at Noon.

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Joe St. George August 7, 20147:02 pm

Day 9 summary:

Another day full of former McDonnell employees taking the stand. Including Sarah Scarborough the former director of the Governor’s Mansion.

Scarborough said she told investigators “Mr. McDonnell is in denial about Mrs. McDonnell’s mental capacity.”

Scarborough also testified she thought the mansion lunch for Jonnie Williams’ product was a launch because “We had never placed any product in front of people’s plates before.”

During cross examination, McDonnell attorney John Brownlee got Scarborough to admit that other businesses were able to host events at the mansion as well including Volkswagen and Forbes. 

Perhaps the biggest testimony of the day came from Secretary of Health Bill Hazel.

Hazel testified he met with Jonnie Williams because the governor told him to but that he quickly became frustrated with Williams’ pitches.

In fact, Hazel would call Williams “the tic tac man” and that he didn’t declare the box of Anatabloc because “I didn’t think it had any value.”

Perhaps Hazel’s most damaging words to the defense occurred at the very end when Hazel said there was “never anything quite like this” when it came to the McDonnells and Jonnie Williams’ relationship.

Dr. Frank Crantz also took the stand. Crantz attended a private mansion health leaders event on February 29th 2012.

That is a key date because the prosecution is trying to establish it as a day in which:

Jonnie Williams and Governor McDonnell met in the Patrick Henry building to discuss a loan.

Later than night a health reception at the mansion was held in which Williams and some of the doctors he was trying to get to do clinical studies were invited too. Hazel testified he did not think Williams or his doctors should of been there.

After the reception Williams and the McDonnells ate a private dinner at La Grotta along with Dr. Crantz.

Dr. Crantz stayed at the governors mansion that night and was flown by Jonnie Williams on his private plane the following morning.

Also testifying Thursday was Tucker Martin – the Governor’s Communication Director who said he owned about $3600 worth of Williams’ Star Scientific Stock at one point but sold it before he started answering any questions about the company.

Outside of Court Bill Hazel said “Not for me to judge” when asked if he thought what the McDonnells did was wrong.

“I think everybody is ready to have it over with,” Scarborough said.

Tucker Martin responded “I am hopeful –maybe there is some naivity there — but I am hopeful that ten years down the road people will look back and say this is a governor who got a lot of good things done for Virginia.”

See you tomorrow at 9:45am. My video report from 6pm is below.

Alix Bryan August 7, 20146:38 pm

Watch Joe St. George’s analysis and report of day nine in court of the McDonnell trial. 

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Good morning! 

Thursday’s trial will get underway at 9:45 am this morning – a bit later than the 9:30 am usual start time. 

We anticipate more former McDonnell employees will take the stand. 

Wednesday – one of the key witnesses in this case – Mary Shea Sutherland took the stand. Sutherland was Mrs. McDonnell’s chief of staff. 

Sutherland characterized Mrs. McDonnell as a “nutbag” and a “screamer” on the stand. 

Sutherland said the yelling would sometimes be so bad security would have to intervene. 

“I never treated anyone the way she treated us,” Sutherland said. 

Sutherland also testified she once described Jonnie Williams as Mrs. McDonnell’s “playmate” and that Williams would have spontaneous visits at the mansion. 

Sutherland was knowledgable of Mrs. McDonnell’s financial difficulties and even gave her a $6,000 at one point. 

During cross examination, defense lawyers attempted to portray Sutherland as the ambitious one and not the McDonnells. Sutherland testified at one point she wanted to leave the First Lady’s office and work for Jonnie Williams. 

Sutherland also admitted to writing during cross examination that Jonnie Williams once felt used by the McDonnells. 

Stay here for updates all day. 

Joe St. George 

Alix Bryan August 6, 20148:21 pm

Another eventful day in court. Here’s Joe St. George’s latest reports. 

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Nick Dutton August 6, 201412:23 pm

Here’s Jake Burns’ latest report on the trial.

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First time she met Jonnie Williams was in 2011 on NYC shopping trip for Maureen.

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When she accepted the job as FLOVA Chief of Staff, Gov. McDonnell called Mary Shea. She asked him what he would define success for her as. Gov. McDonnell: “Coming home to a happy wife.”

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Prior to inaugural, Mary Shea says she paid for a pair of shoes for 1st lady on her own credit card because one of Maureen’s was maxed out.

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Mary Shea: “We talked a lot about the dress.”

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Jonnie Williams offered to buy gown for Maureen. Jason Eige told FLOVA she couldn’t keep the dress if JW bought it. Sutherland: Maureen wasn’t happy about that.

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Mary Shea helped out with inaugural events in 2009, planning Maureen’s schedule, having the right outfits. Maureen needed a gown for Gov. Inauguration.

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Day 8…what will we learn today? Stay with the live blog for updates – JSG

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Governor McDonnell was talking about Redskins camp as he came into court today. Says he wished he was there</p>&mdash; Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JoeStGeorge/statuses/497003589555216385″>August 6, 2014</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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Scott Wise August 5, 201412:59 pm

Jake Burns provides a 12 p.m. update from federal court.

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First new witness in several days — GOP operative Phil Cox and former McDonnell campaign manager.

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Scott Wise August 4, 201410:42 am

Joe and Jake previewed what to expect Monday in the McDonnell trial.

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Asbill is being very direct with his questioning.  Trying to convince jury that JW thought of Governor as more than a business contact.

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Defense asking about text message on Thanksgiving 2012.  Governor sent JW a text that read: “You’re family is very special.”  Asbill: “You sure this is just about business?”  JW: “I’m maintaining a business relationship.

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Asbill fires back.  He pressed JW on whether or not he ever loaned money any of his personal friends.  JW: “I needed something here” with the Governor.  Couldn’t recall loaning money to his personal friends.

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During questioning Williams keep pressing the point that he always thought his contact with the Governor was a “business relationship.”

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Asbill asked if that included when he was pouring Cognac in the fire.  JW said even right down to that.

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Asbill asked if he was “working” when JW was playing golf and chatting around the fire place.  JW: “always on point” when Governor is around.

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Asbill looking for specific examples.  August 2012 trip to Chatham Bars w/ Gov.  JW spent 3 days on what he says was a business trip.  Asbill asked if he was “working 100% of the time.” JW said yes.  Here’s where things got combative.

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Asbill questioning Williams about time period following second loan to Mobo.  How many times did JW “get something from the Governor?”

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Nick Dutton August 3, 20147:30 pm

Mark Holmberg Reports: We heard about the first lady’s crush on Jonnie Williams, but where’s Mrs. Williams?

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Here’s Jake Burns’ recap of week one of the McDonnell trial. 

15 comments

  • Robbie

    No doubt they will be accompanied by their bible and priest for week 2. They kept the priest busy the 4 years in office with confession. I can see Bob now! Forgive me father for I have sinned! The time of my last confession was 10 minutes ago…I took a $10,000 bribe from Jonnie a minute ago. Don’t leave yet father…my wife wants to confess followed by our kids. I’ll need you again after them because I’m getting a new Rolex!!!!

  • ?

    When you BUY your witness you have Carte Blanche to get them to say, be, do, act and perform Exactly how you want them to under threat and duress. Performing better after weekend rehearsals.

  • SludgeRpt

    Media is thrilled to hype their Politically Targeted with Trash Headlines.
    The Fed Cons are so good at it, they demean, deride and impugn the own witnesses, and the witnesses don’t even
    know they disgraced themselves. Corruption abounds and it isn’t the Governor. WHAT did Johnny GET from the
    Governor? Will the Feds ever get beyond their ripe fertilizer to REVEAL that TRUTH? It’s kind of imperative.
    Impeccable Feds!

  • PUPC

    Joe St George, “Star Reporter”.
    Hot Dog!!! More “Stars!!!”…Coming up…
    in the Epic ObamaDrama Styled Hollywood Screenplay Matinee Production…
    produced, directed, scripted, rehearsed, choreographed, cued, by the DoInjustice Team, for your viewing entertainment…distributed by Government/Media, Inc….More Hot Cars, Hot EMails, Hot Dishing of the Dirt….in the continual, long running Saga….
    Will the Feds ever get around to Produce the Evidence/Proof of What, Exactly, Johnny Williams GOT from the Governor????
    ..Stayed tuned…More serial, highly emotionalized, sensationalized, garbage feeds first.
    Come back this evening and everday. Enjoy!

  • Y

    TMZ DoInjustice. Parade of “Stars”, Hot Cars, Hot Emails, Hot Fashions, Gossip, and Cat Fights!
    Stay tuned …to see IF… they ever get around to Proving Johnny Williams GOT anything from the Governor for all his
    Payola Scams.

  • Liz

    And again WTVR’s idea of reporting is to cut and paste tweets – good job there, WTVR. At least I know there are other news outlets in the area that will actually take the time to write a story.

Comments are closed.

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