Cats Working smelled a rat when Virginia’s former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were indicted on 14 felony counts of corruption, primarily stemming from Maureen’s cozy relationship with Jonnie Williams, Sr., CEO of Star Scientific.
My prediction that skeletons would fall out of the closet has come to pass.
The trial began this week, and in his opening statement to jurors, Maureen’s lawyer said Maureen had a “crush” on Williams and considered him her favorite “playmate.”
It also came out that Maureen thought herself so neglected, she hated her husband, the governor.
During their indictment, the McDonnells held hands and put up a united front, but a judge has since refused to separate their trials. Now they come and go from court separately and sit apart with their own lawyers.
Maureen has refused to testify on Bob’s behalf, which isn’t surprising. Bitter, vindictive shrew seems the role she was born to play.
Jonnie Williams has been among the first witnesses, and he’s singing like a nightingale. He has broad immunity, apparently even from prosecution on unrelated financial crimes he may have committed.
In addition to landing her husband in the soup, Maureen helped Williams out of his job. Star asked him to step down as CEO, packed up and moved HQ from Virginia to Florida, and changed its name to Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals.
Williams is maintaining that he considered his relationship with the McDonnells purely business.
But before that, Williams’ former assistant, Jerri Fulkerson, testified, and the prosecution asked her point-blank if she suspected something more than business between Maureen and Williams. But the defense objected and Fulkerson didn’t have to answer.
That’s really the crux of the matter. Maureen’s reputation is already in shreds. She’s not an elected official. It was no crime for her to take a lover and expect him to lavish gifts on her and her family — if he was idiot enough to do it. Why pussy-foot around?
What may stick in Maureen’s craw now is Williams dispelling any doubt that he exploited her craving for attention to get to the governor.
What’s unclear is why anybody expects us to believe that Williams considered traveling to NYC and elsewhere with another man’s wife and dropping $20K on clothes and jewelry for her “business.” But he totally drew the line at performing a quick little act that would cost him nothing, yet cement their bond and probably make her feel obligated to help him get in good with the governor?
Did we all just fall off the turnip truck?
It appears that Bob McDonnell maxed out, and possibly overstepped, Virginia’s lax laws on accepting gifts, and turned a blind eye when his wife started acting like a cross between Lady Macbeth and a Desperate Housewife.
The sad fact is that Maureen may very well walk out of court a free woman, while Bob McDonnell gets dragged off to jail as the dupe for her execrable conduct.