McDonnells Plead for Case Dismissal, Separate Trials - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

McDonnells Plead for Case Dismissal, Separate Trials

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A judge says he'll rule Tuesday on key defense requests in the federal corruption prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. A judge says he'll rule Tuesday on key defense requests in the federal corruption prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were in court Monday fighting to get their case dismissed.

The former governor and his wife walked out of federal court Monday afternoon after their attorneys argued to have the case dropped, citing a lack of evidence to support the couple did anything illegal.

The governor didn't say much but did have this to say,

"I pleaded innocent," he says. "I'm innocent."

In court, McDonnell's attorneys argued that at no time did McDonnell promise Star Scientific CEO Johnnie Williams anything in return for the more than $150,000 in gifts given to McDonnell and his family. They say nothing in the indictment violates the federal bribery law, and therefore the case should be dismissed.

Meanwhile, prosecutors contend that the McDonnells lined their pockets with that money in exchange for helping to promote Williams' product without letting voters know what was going on.

Legal expert Russ Stone says it's highly unlikely the case will be dismissed, but Monday's arguments were a good preview of what to expect at trial. Were the McDonnells conducting routine political meetings or did they conduct official acts for Johnnie Williams?

"Where is the law going to be defined as to what a governor can do in supporting someone that has donated money to them or given money and things to them and what can't a governor do?" he says.

The McDonnells are also hoping to have their trials separated, which Stone says is also unlikely.

"The laws in federal court are that joint profiles are preferred."

The judge said he would make a ruling on both issues Tuesday. If the case isn't dismissed, the McDonnells are scheduled for a five week trial at the end of July.

Related Stories:

Complete Coverage: McDonnell Indictment

Former Gov. McDonnell Files Motion to Dismiss 11 Charges in 'Gift-Gate' Scandal

McDonnell's Lawyers Plan Upcoming Defense in Court
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