The Washington Post

Bob McDonnell takes the stand

The event everyone was waiting for occurred on Wednesday, as former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell took the stand in his own defense. It was a late-in-the-day outing, so McDonnell will testify again today. According to some court watchers, he could be on the stand well into next week.

Those to whom I have talked who have observed the trial in person say that McDonnell’s debut was excellent. But, remember, this is under direct questioning from his own lawyers, who have every incentive to put their client in the best light. The real drama will have to wait until the prosecution opens its cross-examination.

They have a single aim: to destroy McDonnell, because they have no other choice.

The defense will continue to build on the theme that McDonnell did nothing, at all, to benefit Jonnie Williams. Did Williams give the McDonnells gifts and loans? Yes — because the McDonnells thought all along that Williams was a friend who was doing what friends sometimes do: lend a helping hand.

Oh, and Maureen McDonnell was bonkers/stressed/out of control, so anything that appears to be too coincidental to be a coincidence is on her.

It’s a clever strategy that seeks to insulate Robert McDonnell from everything. If he did nothing wrong, the government’s case — based as it is on circumstantial evidence — collapses. It’s also an exceedingly dangerous strategy.

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.] Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Dan Reed · August 18, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.