There were strong words and completely different stories Friday in the federal corruption trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell.

Attorneys are wrapping up their closing arguments, and soon we should know when the case will be heading to the jury.

The prosecution made its strongest statements yet, saying the actions of Bob and Maureen McDonnell were not politics as usual. It was bribery. It was corruption. And he told the jurors. Don't let this stand.

The prosecutor said the case against the McDonnells boiled down to a simple question, why? Considering all of the things Jonnie Williams gave them, and the McDonnells accepted, was it the result of a friendship or a corrupt understanding? He repeatedly asked the jurors to use their common sense.

But Maureen McDonnell's lawyer said his client was not a public official. He described the former first lady as a volunteer who was free to accept gifts from anyone, and under no obligation to report them. While there was plenty of unflattering testimony, he said no witnesses suggested she was a criminal mastermind.

Bob McDonnell's lawyer focused on what he described as gaps in the government's case. Jonnie Williams never got anything. The McDonnells’ marriage was dysfunctional and hardly a hotbed of conspiracy. And he said the former governor didn't try to hide anything.

We're expecting the judge to call a break for the Labor Day holiday, then return on Tuesday for jury instructions and the start of deliberations.


Were the gifts that Jonnie Williams showered on Bob and Maureen McDonnell the result of their friendship, or was it part of a corrupt understanding?

Prosecutors put that question to the jury Friday morning, as the McDonnells' corruption trial continued in Richmond federal court.

The prosecutor says the single simple question of this case is why? Of all the things that Jonnie Williams gave, and the defendants accepted, were they the result of friendship, or what the prosecutor termed as a corrupt understanding? He repeatedly asked the jurors to use their common sense.

The prosecutor started by the setting the stage, detailing the McDonnells’ financial troubles, including credit card balances of nearly $70,000, and real estate investments they couldn't sell or refinance.

Then he reviewed the evidence prosecutors say shows beyond a reasonable doubt, that the McDonnells knew what Jonnie Williams wanted. And Jonnie Williams knew what the defendants wanted. The prosecutor also said that the lengths they went to hide it were important.

Bob McDonnell maintains that he never gave Jonnie Williams and Star Scientific any special benefits, and never violated any federal laws.

We expect to hear from his attorney, and lawyers representing Maureen McDonnell, Friday afternoon

WDBJ7's Joe Dashiell is in Richmond. He'll have more Friday night on WDBJ7.