From the Associated Press
A jury has been selected for the corruption trial of a former Virginia governor and his wife.
The jury of eight men and four women was seated Monday evening for the trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell. Opening statements are set for Tuesday.
The McDonnells 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. Their trial is expected to last at least five weeks.
The federal corruption trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell is underway in Richmond.
The former Virginia Governor and First Lady are accused of trading influence for gifts and loans worth more than $150,000.
If a jury convicts them, they could face prison time.
We heard from a list of potential witnesses Monday -- more than 120 for the defense; another 60 for the prosecution.
The trial is scheduled to continue for five weeks.
The McDonnells are being tried together, but they arrived separately at the federal courthouse.
Maureen McDonnell came first with family members walking in without making a comment.
Bob McDonnell arrived a few minutes later, smiling as he walked up Broad Street with his lawyers, telling reporters he felt good, and was glad he would finally get a chance to present his defense in court.
The case is attracting national attention, with a crowd of reporters and photographers. There were so many observers that the main courtroom was full, and a second courtroom with video feeds handled the overflow.
The hearing began with jury selection: a deliberate process of interviewing prospective jurors to find any potential conflicts.
Former Governor Doug Wilder and former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are now listed as potential witnesses.
There is also a political dimension to the McDonnells’ legal troubles, says WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton.
“And frankly, while this is just my personal opinion, I think it calls for some strong legislation. I think it calls for Virginia to have larger disclosure policies. And quite frankly, I think that is one of the failures of the session that just ended,” Denton said.
For now, this case is all about Bob and Maureen McDonnell, and whether their conduct represented a lapse in judgment or a violation of federal law.
The trial is now scheduled to last for five weeks.