FBI computer analyst on stand in Virginia ex-governor's corruption trial

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 06, 2014 10:07 AM

By Gary Robertson

RICHMOND Va. (Reuters) - An FBI computer forensic analyst will be back on the witness stand for the prosecution on Wednesday in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.

The expert, Timothy Huff, had started his testimony in U.S. District Court on Tuesday when an alternate juror became ill, prompting U.S. District Judge James Spencer to adjourn early.

The McDonnells face 14 counts of corruption and bribery for allegedly accepting $165,000 in gifts and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams Sr. in exchange for supporting his former company, a dietary supplement maker now known as Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Jasen Eige, the former chief counsel to the governor, testified on Tuesday, the seventh day of the trial, that McDonnell never told him about loans and gifts he received from Williams.

Eige said he learned about them only when news accounts began appearing about the federal investigation into possible misconduct by the governor and his wife.

McDonnell wrote on a 2011 financial form that he incurred a $50,000 debt for “medical services" when Williams actually loaned him the money, Eige testified in U.S. District Court.

Williams, the prosecution's star witness, completed four days of testimony on Monday by detailing financial help he said he had given McDonnell and his wife.

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Lawyers for McDonnell and his wife have argued that accepting the gifts was unseemly but not illegal. Defense attorneys have tried to distance the former governor from Williams, saying the interaction was primarily between the businessman and Maureen McDonnell.

If convicted, the McDonnells could each face more than 20 years in prison and a large fine. McDonnell's four-year term as governor ended in January.

(Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bill Trott)