Jonnie R. Williams Sr. described during his testimony buying a $5,000 bottle Louis XIII cognac the first time he met the McDonnells, in a small restaurant off the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. The couple was going to a show, and it was not clear from Williams’s testimony if he’d ordered the liquor before they left.
He mentioned sharing the cognac with two people who had come to New York with the McDonnells: Phil Cox, who led the then-governor-elect’s PAC; and Adam Zubowsky, an aide to Bob McDonnell who later became his son-in-law.
Also at the table was Brad Kroenig, a model Williams brought to the meeting.
“I thought people would find Brad interesting and soften the meeting,” Williams said.
Williams bought another bottle the same pricey liquor over Labor Day 2012, while entertaining the McDonnells, Cox and his wife, and a Star Scientific consultant on Cape Cod.
A defense attorney for Maureen McDonnell mistakenly referred to the liquor at one point as “Louis XIV,” and Williams corrected him.
“Louis XIV was probably $10,000,” attorney William Burck quipped.
Williams said he was not particularly fond of the cognac, but said he bought it because the people he entertains seem to like it.
“Actually don’t care for it that much,” Williams said. “I’d rather have a milkshake from Carl’s.”
Jonnie, on $5,000 bottle of Louis XIII cognac he bought for McDonnell staffers: “I actually don’t care for it, but others do.”
— Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) July 31, 2014