Bob and Maureen McDonnell were indicted in 2013 on a combined 14 counts including Honest-Services Wire Fraud, Obtaining Property under Color of Official Right, making False Statement, and Obstruction of Official Proceedings.
The McDonnells “participated in a scheme,” from April 2011 through March 2013, to use Bob McDonnell’s “official position as the Governor of Virginia to enrich the defendants and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts, and other things of value from JW and Star Scientific in exchange for Bob McDonnell and the Office of the Governor performing official actions on an as-needed basis, as opportunities arose, to legitimize, promote, and obtain research studies for Star Scientific’s products, including Anatabloc®,” according to the indictment.
According to the court documents, generally, defendants who are indicted together should be tried together unless a joint trial “would be so unfairly prejudicial that a miscarriage of justice would result.”
The judge ruled that the defendants failed to prove that a joint trial would be unfair.
McDonnell’s lawyers also tried to prove that he committed no crime and that he had merely done for a donor what others would be expected to do for a donor.
The judge, however, said that the indictment stands and he must prove to a jury whether the crimes were legitimate.