As expected, the government rested today, using FBI Special Agent David Hulser to wrap everything up in a nice, neat little bow.
The prosecution hopes that people will remember the $36,000 Cape Cod weekend for the McDonnell family in September, 2012. $150 cognac shots and $1,309 for lobster and salmon are going to stick in the craw of the jury. And the logical question is going to be, “Just why did you think Jonnie Williams was paying for lobster and salmon and cognac for the whole family? Did you really think he just liked you and your family?”
The defense hopes that people will remember that out of all of the thousands of e-mails and texts and phone calls that the government traced, there were no calls or texts to the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University or the Tobacco Commission from Bob McDonnell.
The prosecution picture is of Bob McDonnell with no sense of propriety, no control over his finances or over his family. (Remember, this trial is taking place in Richmond, where we still refer to that business with Mr. Lincoln as “the recent unpleasantness.” Propriety is a big thing in Richmond, and in Virginia.)
The defense picture is that Bob McDonnell played Jonnie Williams for a sucker, but that’s not what he’s charged with.
Tomorrow will be spent arguing motions to dismiss — the McDonnell attorneys will argue that there is no evidence, or no credible evidence, that Bob McDonnell ever agreed to do something official that he shouldn’t have agreed to do in return for gifts and loans. It is possible that Judge Spencer may dismiss the counts that basically sound like extortion charges, though the usual pattern is to take such motions under advisement until later and rule on them at the end of the entire case.
Then Monday begins the defense evidence.