Zings fly as McDonnell closing arguments end - WSMV Channel 4

Zings fly as McDonnell closing arguments end

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Former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, outside of federal court in Richmond (Source: NBC12) Former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, outside of federal court in Richmond (Source: NBC12)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

In the final minutes of closing arguments, prosecutors said late Friday it was striking how the former governor was willing to blame others, while the defense argued the government's case has not been handed to jurors on a silver platter.

"What's sad is that Bob McDonnell is willing to throw his wife under the bus, and that she's willing to let him, to avoid criminal convictions," said prosecutor Michael S. Dry. "[The governor's] campaign bumper sticker shouldn't have been, 'Bob's 4 Jobs.' It should have been 'Bob for Bob.'"

The McDonnell defense countered with the lineup of witnesses who defended the former governor's integrity.

"His entire staff would still work for Bob again," said defense attorney Hank Asbill. "They stuck with him until the end... Evidence of good character alone may create reasonable doubt in your minds. That's the law."

Jurors spent all day Friday hearing closing arguments from the defense and prosecution and now must mull thousands of pieces of evidence and 25 days of testimony as they decide the guilt or innocence of the former first couple on 14 charges.

Asbill told jurors Star Scientific, Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams never asked for anything and never received anything from his client. He argued that the former governor could have helped out the Henrico businessman if he wanted to, but never did.

Instead, he argued the couple's marriage broke down and Williams used the opportunity to find a way to fill the void.

William Burck, who represents Maureen McDonnell, spent much of his closing arguments trying to destroy the credibility of Williams, arguing a "case built on the testimony of Williams is the very definition of reasonable doubt." He argued Maureen's actions may have been "tacky" or "unbecoming," but said they were not criminal.

Prosecutors, however, argued the former governor "wrapped himself in the flag of the Commonwealth and then stomped on it by selling out his office." David Harbach accused Bob McDonnell of lying about his involvement with Williams and saying the McDonnells purposely hid gifts from Williams.

The jurors will receive final instructions Tuesday morning before being handed the case for deliberations.

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