RICHMOND, Va. — Over the past 15 days, we have heard a lot of evidence by the government regarding various events and gifts former Virginia Governor Bob and First Lady Maureen McDonnell received by millionaire businessman Jonnie Williams.
However one day in particular, February 29, 2012, may ultimately be the most challenging day for the McDonnells to defend.
Around 1:30 p.m. that day, the government alleged Bob McDonnell and Jonnie Williams met in his conference room in the Patrick Henry Building to discuss the terms of a loan. Notes presented into evidence by the government are below.
That same afternoon, the government said leaders of Jonnie Williams company met with state officials in an effort to get their product covered on the state’s health insurance plan.
Six minutes after the meeting between Jonnie Williams and Bob McDonnell concluded, McDonnell sent adviser Jason Eige an email and asked for the status of the anatabloc studies Williams wanted conducted at Virginia universities.
Later that evening, Jonnie Williams — along with his invited guests – attended a Health Care Leaders Reception. Secretary of Health Bill Hazel later admitted he did not want Williams there because he never considered Williams a “health leader.”
Finally, Williams – along with Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell – have dinner together at La Grotta restaurant in Shockoe Slip – where fine wine was purchased by Williams.
William’s guest Dr. Frank Crantz also attended that dinner. Crantz was allowed to then stay over at the Governor’s Mansion for the night before Williams flew him back to Northern Virginia.
February 29 is likely to come up several times when the defense begins calling witnesses Monday morning. We heard a little bit of their defense Friday during a motion for dismissal hearing (which was ultimately denied).
Atty. Ryan Newman told Judge James Spencer “The supreme court has said mere access is not corruption.”