Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s lawyers are opening a new line of attack in their defense in federal court.
McDonnell faces a 14-count federal indictment.
He says he did nothing illegal and now, court documents say his lawyers want the whole case thrown out.
“I repeat emphatically that I did nothing wrong for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal friendship and his generosity,” McDonnell says.
McDonnell’s lawyers are taking that denial one step further. In documents obtained by NewsChannel 3, they confirmed they will file a motion by March 25th to have the 14-count federal indictment against McDonnell dismissed. That’s the deadline set by the judge in the case.
That 43-page indictment claims the former governor and his wife used the governor’s office to benefit political supporter Jonnie Williams and his dietary supplement business, Star Scientific.
The court papers claim the McDonnell’s were under severe financial pressure and used loans from Williams to prop up their real estate investments in Sandbridge.
On top of that, prosecutors claim Williams lavished the McDonnell’s with gifts, including a Rolex for Bob McDonnell and a New York City shopping spree for Maureen McDonnell.
In exchange, the indictment claims, Williams got access to top state officials and the use of the Governor’s Mansion to promote his product.
McDonnell has since acknowledged the gifts and loans and says he used poor judgment and has since paid Williams back.
In his only public comments on the case, he pointed the finger at the Obama justice department.
“Federal officials in Washington, in their zeal to find a basis to charge Maureen and me, have decided to stretch the law to its breaking point in this case,” he says.
McDonnell’s lawyers have not given an exact date for when they will file their motion to dismiss the indictment but they want a hearing on March 18th on another request. That one is to get fast access to evidence prosecutors say they have against the McDonnell’s.