Gifts-for-favors trial set for ex-governor, wife

By LARRY O’DELL

Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A former Virginia governor once viewed as a rising national star in the Republican Party is going on trial and fighting to avoid federal prison.

Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are due in a Richmond courtroom Monday for trial on corruption charges. They are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company in exchange for helping promote his products. They could face decades in prison if convicted in a trial that is expected to last at least five weeks.

McDonnell’s attorneys have argued that prosecutors have stretched the definition of bribery to include routine political courtesies like hosting receptions and arranging meetings with government officials.

The gifts-for-favors scandal has destroyed the political future of McDonnell.

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