Prosecution peppers former Governor McDonnell - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Prosecution peppers former Governor McDonnell on the witness stand

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

For the first time prosecutors got their chance to ask Bob McDonnell the tough questions about his relationship with Jonnie Williams.

It was often dense, filled with in-depth questions from the lead prosecutor. The goal? Destroy the credibility of the once popular former governor of Virginia.

It was no easy task for lead prosecutor Michael Dry. Pick apart the McDonnell version of the Jonnie Williams story. A job Dry chose to do bit by bit.

"This is the biggest trial of his career," legal analyst Paul Goldman said of Dry. "This is a career definer."

From the vacation properties on Virginia Beach.

To the drive home to Richmond in the millionaire's Ferrari.

To the ritzy shopping trip in New York.

One by one, moment by moment, Dry forced Bob McDonnell to account for everything he knew and when he knew it

On the shopping trip- Dry questioned why McDonnell did suspect that Williams had paid for all the expensive clothing and accessories.

The governor claimed he didn't know any better, testifying: "I wouldn't recognize a Louis Vuitton handbag if I saw it.".

Dry also tried to raise doubt about just how much the governor knew about Williams funneling money to his wife. He laid out a specific timeline.  

*Williams gave Maureen $50,000 on March 23

*McDonnelll claimed he didn't learn about it June 5. The day after his daughter's wedding.

*He testified that he was upset about the loan, but then waited "30 to 45 days" to talk to Williams about it.

"It was her (The first lady's) loan," McDonnell said.

Dry was relentless, but according to Goldman he failed to land a devastating blow.

"This is sort of the old Ohio State three yards and a cloud of dust just going down the field very, very slowly."

But that may be all they need to do and they are not finished yet, Bob McDonnell will be back on the stand for a fifth day of testimony on Tuesday.

Perhaps the most tense moment Monday came when Prosecutor Dry asked the former Governor about a $23,000 trip to Kiwahi Island funded by big time GOP donor William Goodwin.

McDonnell said Goodwin was a "personal friend".  Dry asked McDonnell if they knew the names of Goodwin's kids. The former Governor did not.

Then he had a difficult time explaining the definition of a personal friend.

It was a moment that could stick with a jury long into deliberations.

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