McDonnell: I forgive Jonnie Williams

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Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 28 at 5:41 PM

Live coverage of the McDonnell trial

RICHMOND -- Federal prosecutors called their final witness in the corruption trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen on Thursday.

FBI Special Agent Kathryn Weber testified about the former first couple’s schedules.

Weber compiled charts that were shown to the jury, which broke down the number of nights the couple stayed at the mansion together, traveled together and traveled apart in the 22-month span during which they allegedly conspired to take bribes from wealthy businessman Jonnie Williams.

According to the government’s chart, the McDonnells spent 489 nights together at the mansion and 155 nights together outside of the mansion. Weber testified that, according to the pair’s schedules, Bob McDonnell spent 65 nights outside of the mansion alone in that time frame and Maureen McDonnell traveled just 12 nights alone.

But John Brownlee, one of Bob McDonnell’s lead defense attorneys, challenged the FBI’s math during cross examination.

Brownlee first attacked the pie chart that Weber showed the jury, pointing out that it made it seem as if the McDonnells spent three quarters of their nights together at the mansion instead of two thirds, which the math showed. He next walked Weber through more than a dozen calendar days in which Bob McDonnell was scheduled to be out of the mansion until late in the event—sometimes even midnight—on campaign or government business.

On two of those nights, evidence showed, Maureen McDonnell was visited by Jonnie Williams.

Brownlee also asked Weber if she took into account the fact that Maureen McDonnell sometimes stayed at the couple’s home in Glen Allen, a suburb of Richmond. Weber testified that she did not.

After Weber left the stand, lead prosecutor Michael Dry rested the government’s case for a second time.

Jurors were dismissed for the day so that the attorneys could hash out several motions and then discuss the instructions that will be read to the jury before they begin deliberating.

Closing arguments will start first thing Friday morning. It is unclear if the jury will begin deliberations on Friday afternoon, right before the long Labor Day weekend, or if the judge will charge the jury so they can start deliberating on Tuesday when they get back.

Bob McDonnell seemed more relaxed leaving the courthouse late Thursday morning, surrounded by four of his five kids.

He said he forgives Jonnie Williams and recognized that everyone makes mistakes in their lives—including him.

He said he was not worried whether or not the jury will find him innocent.

“I’m 60-year-old, I’ve done a lot of living,” McDonnell said. “I’ve led an incredibly blessed life with the things that I’ve gotten to do and, uh, I’ve got confidence, as I said five weeks ago, in the judicial system. I’ve got amazing faith in God and my family and the ability of the jury to find the truth.”

13News Now reporter Nick Ochsner will be in the courtroom Friday morning for closing arguments and will be tweeting up dates throughout the day. Follow him on Twitter @13NickOchsner for the latest.

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