A federal jury in Virginia found former governor Bob McDonnell guilty on eleven of the thirteen corruption charges against him. His wife was also convicted on nine charges. The couple was accused of accepting over $165,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplement distributor Star Scientific, Inc.
As if borrowed from an episode of the 1980s TV show LA Law, the McDonnells’s defense was that the couple could not have coordinated their grift because they weren’t speaking to each other, and that Mrs. McDonnell had accepted the gifts because she was obsessed with Williams.
After a 22-hour deliberation, the jury decided they did not buy this defense even though the McDonnell children took the stand. Apparently, pictures of the happy couple smiling in Williams’s white Ferrari were more persuasive than their testimony.
The unprecedented corruption trial brings an inglorious end to McDonnell’s political career, during which he became famous for signing a bill that would require women undergoing abortions to be clinically raped with ultrasound wands first.
With the 25-day trial now over, the couple faces severe fines and prison time.