McDonnell Trial, Day 3: Donor Says Gifts Were Exchange For Access

Jonnie Williams' testimony was blunt in today's court proceedings.
McDonnell Trial, Day 3: Donor Says Gifts Were Exchange For Access

Today's drama in the McDonnell trial was provided by businessman Jonnie Williams, who testified that he bought gifts and provided trips in order to gain access to the McDonnells.

In one exchange about his private plane, Williams said "If you are a Virginia company, you want to make sure you have access to those people [politicians] and the airplane accomplishes that."

Williams also testified that he viewed his relationship with the former Governor and First Lady as a business relationship, and that he never considered McDonnell a friend. He wanted state authorization for research purposes, and felt he needed access to the governor in order to get it.

As for the shopping trips for Maureen McDonnell, it appears that even Williams had doubts about those, asking her ahead of the big $20,000 trip to New York City whether she thought it would be okay. She then called him and said "We can go shopping now." Williams was seated next to the governor at a fundraiser the same day as the New York City shopping trip.

Williams also testified that Maureen McDonnell told him they had maxed out their credit cards and were essentially broke.

Williams hasn't completed his cross-examination yet, but his testimony today is pretty damning, particularly the timing of the shopping trip, fundraiser, and gifts given.

You can view photos, emails and other documents released by the judge here. It's odd to me that these items would be released during the trial, but there they are.

Governor Ultrasound has a problem here, unless the defense team can impeach his testimony completely, which I doubt.

Watch the video report from WTVR.com:


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