RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has taken the stand in his public corruption trial.
McDonnell began his much-anticipated testimony in his own defense Wednesday. The onetime rising national Republican star and his wife, Maureen, are charged in a 14-count indictment. The two are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the former CEO of a dietary supplements maker in exchange for promoting his company’s products.
Star Scientific Inc. founder Jonnie Williams testified for the prosecution under immunity. Williams testified that he showered the McDonnells with gifts and loans only to entice them to help him gain acceptance and state-backed research for his company’s tobacco-based anti-inflammatory, Anatabloc.
The former governor’s lawyers have suggested that Maureen McDonnell acted largely on her own to promote the product.