Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and former first lady Maureen McDonnell want separate trails and are asking a federal judge to dismiss the corruption charges against them. Attorneys for the former governor say a joint proceeding would prevent Maureen McDonnell from taking the witness stand to exonerate her husband.
According to the Richmond Dispatch-Times, McDonnell and his wife face a 14-count indictment for accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans they accepted from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., who, at the time, was CEO of Star Scientific.
“The political corruption charges leveled against former Governor McDonnell are based on an unprecedented interpretation of federal law that would, if adopted by this court, criminalize many basic practices of democratic politics,” the former governor’s attorneys said in a memorandum supporting their motion to dismiss the corruption counts against him.
The McDonnells have pleaded not guilty to all charges and the trial is scheduled to begin in July.