McDonnell defense rests its case - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

McDonnell defense rests its case

FILE: Former governor Bob McDonnell arrives to testify at Federal Court in Richmond (Source: NBC12) FILE: Former governor Bob McDonnell arrives to testify at Federal Court in Richmond (Source: NBC12)

The defense has rested its case. The federal corruption trial against Bob McDonnell and his wife is entering the homestretch.

On Wednesday, Mrs. McDonnell's team got to make their arguments.

This trial has gone 23 days now with Maureen McDonnell's team needing only one day to make their case. Wednesday, one of their witnesses left the jury with one of the most memorable moments of this entire trial.

As we trudge through week five of the McDonnell federal corruption trial things are starting to finally wrap up.

"The end is in sight," said the former governor as he entered court. "And that is good for all of us."

But we aren't done yet. On Day 23 Maureen McDonnell's team used a pair of memorable witnesses to present her case.

April Niamtu, the wife of well-known cosmetic surgeon Joe Niamtu, told the story of a trip she took with Mrs, McDonnell and Jonnie Williams to California.

Her testimony was colorful but at times frustrating for prosecutors. They frequently objected citing hearsay.

At one point Niamtu replied, "It's not hearsay, I was there!"

Judge James Spencer stepped in and warned, "It is hearsay and I am the one who decides."

Also on the stand Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, the oldest McDonnell child and the third to testify. She described the $10,000 check given to her and her husband- former McDonnell aide Adam by Williams.

She said the gift made her "uncomfortable".

She also said when she learned of all the gifts of clothes, golf and vacations Williams had given her family she thought it went "overboard".

Mrs. Zubowsky said she and her husband left the Williams $10,000 in savings. They eventually returned it.

When asked when they return the money she dryly replied, "When we learned Jonnie Williams was a criminal."

That prompted an audible gasp from the court room.

Afterward Mrs. Zubowsky said she stands by her family.

"It was hard but I love them both," she said.

Her role in the case now complete and the overall finish line now in sight.

And Judge Spencer is ready for this case to wrap up. The prosecution will have one final rebuttal witness Thursday, then he plans to give the jury the afternoon off so the two sides can hammer out final motions and charges.

That means closing arguments could come as soon as Friday.

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