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The McDonnell trial: A movie in the making

A former first lady having a “crush” on a businessman who provided cash and expensive gifts. A woman vexed by fear for perhaps losing the rich lifestyle she craves. A phony appearance of a malfunctioning marriage. A daughter crying on the witness stand. A former governor feeling betrayed.

These phrases are descriptions that have come out so far in the corruption case of ex-Governor Bob and wife Maureen McDonnell – a case that has tongues wagging as to what’s next in this dramatic series of events.

The trial has been estimated to last six weeks but may go longer due to recent exposes that have come forth. The star witness, Jonnie Williams, the businessman who gave the McDonnell family money and gifts, has had a sudden attack of amnesia lately. Williams has been given immunity during the trial. The whole scenario reminds you of a daily soap opera in real life television. The Washington Post has even provided a “Bob McDonnell trial or romance fiction? Take our quiz!” article for readers.

News sources have revealed that –

Maureen McDonnell’s lawyer William A. Burck said during opening statements that the former first lady was “duped” by Williams into thinking he cared for her. Williams filled a “void” in her life, and she and her husband were pretending to be a happy couple although their marriage had “broken down” long ago, Burck said.

Jonnie Williams was larger than life to Maureen McDonnell,” said her attorney, William Burck. “But unlike the other man in her life, Jonnie Williams paid attention to Maureen McDonnell.”

The “crush” thing sounds silly. The ex-governor is 60 years old; his wife from her pictures may be in her fifties. This is not something juvenile that is a romantic comedy adventure like the 60's films “Tammy and the Doctor” or “The Tender Trap.” These are mature-aged people Virginians once admired and respected that have embarrassed the state; making the trial turn into a tabloid.

Now that the McDonnell marriage is out in the open, the concentration should now be getting the truth out of Jonnie Williams. This man does not seem to be someone who can be trusted. It is obvious he is being coached by his lawyers because of his sudden change of behavior on the witness stand; due to “immunity from prosecutors. A defense attorney said Williams may have illegally sold $10 million worth of shares to a friend.”

Williams also provided funds for the McDonnell’s daughter Cailin, who was married in 2011 and a witness in her parent’s trial.

Daughter Cailin, whose wedding was partially funded through gifts from Williams. Cailin McDonnell Young cried on the stand when she testified Tuesday that Williams had footed the bill for the catering at her 2011 nupitals.

But these recent episodes should not be the focus of the trial. This is a political corruption case. A case that exemplifies many politicians all over the United States being bought like pegs, due to greed and lack of ethics that is now commonplace. The American people are the only ones that can stop this lethal behavior.

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.

It should not be a surprise that a reporter hired by a Hollywood producer or director or someone in the movie business sitting in the courtroom during the trial. Perhaps a documentary or drama will appear in the future. Bob McDonnell had a great political career ahead of him before this conviction. Allegations have come out that the McDonnells may be “broke.” After the trial, will the McDonnells get a divorce or try to save their marriage? has issued an article called “A viewer’s guide to the Bob McDonnell trial” at

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