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Former Governor McDonnell and wife back in court

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Republican former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and wife Maureen were in court last Tuesday on corruption charges. There are fourteen indictments the couple is charged with. Lawyers for the couple are asking for the charges to be dropped and the McDonnells be tried separately. The judge in Tuesday's hearing rejected the request.

In arguing for the McDonnells, their lawyers have tried to use campaign-finance rulings, the recent Supreme Court decision (McCutcheon v. FEC) and the Citizens United case to thwart prosecutors. But prosecutors do not think these cases have any relevance; rather the McDonnells are guilty of accepting personal gifts.

Washington, D.C. NBC4 reported the following disagreement from the Associated Press in an earlier May article –

Last month, prosecutors argued that the former governor's lawyers have shown a “fixation on campaign-finance law” that is irrelevant to the case.

“Not one penny of the $120,000 in loans, the $15,000 check to subsidize the defendants' daughter's wedding, the free vacations, or any of the other graft charged here was a campaign contribution,” prosecutors wrote.

More from NBC4 –

The Republican and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc. In exchange, they would help promote his products, according to prosecutors. Those gifts include shopping sprees for designer clothes and accessories, a Rolex watch, $15,000 in catering expenses for a daughter's wedding, golf outings and a lake-house vacation stay that included use of Williams' Ferrari, according to the indictment.

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