When discussion gets around to the incredible tales told by former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in his corruption trial in Richmond, most observers say he is either canny or stupid.
Few, if any, say he is innocent. The general conclusion is that the governor who is throwing his wife under the bus to try and save his butt is guilty as sin but could get off is he can convince even one juror that reasonable doubt exists in the madness that led he and his wife to convince diet supplement CEO Jonnie Williams to hand over more than 150 grand in loans, cash, gifts and other goodies.
McDonnell wants Virginians to swallow his claims that that the marriage between he and his wife was effectively over early in his term as governor, even as they cavorted together around the countryside in Williams’ Ferarri, enjoyed romantic dinners and getaways at luxury resorts with Williams picking up the check and displayed many moments of public affection before photographers.
The governor also sported an expensive Rolex watch given to him by the wife he now claims he seldom talked to and was another gift from Williams. He proudly showed off that watch in an email to others.
At worse, McDonnell now claims, he was an innocent patsy to Williams, the fast-talking CEO who, of course, wanted favors from the governor for all those gifts and cash.
“I misjudged Jonnie Williams,” McDonnell says. I thought he was a true friend. ”
We’re expected to believe the governor stayed at Williams’ mansion, flew around in Williams’ private jet and enjoyed living the high life because he was gullible, not crooked.
Even more incredible, McDonnell also wants us to buy into a con that he and his wife weren’t talking enough to conspire together to break the law with all that largesse from Williams.
Which makes us wonder what the governor and first lady were talking about during those romantic engagements and other “official” activities that kept them in the public eye together during the time as as governor.
Oops, sorry, I forgot. He says they weren’t talking. Guess they were too busy screwing — each other and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The defense wrapped up McDonnell’s tawdry tales on the stand Friday and the prosecution gets its shot next week. What McDonnell has revealed so far is that he was — at best — a broke politician who lived large at other people’s expense while claiming he didn’t know there were costs to such things.
The man who claimed at one time to love and honor his wife “until death do us part” amended that promise to say “I come first and will do anything, even dump on you, to save my ass.”