Key witness takes stand in ex-governor's trial

Associated Press
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell leaves the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., with his lawyer John L. Brownlee on the second day of his and his wife Maureen's corruption trial, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alexa Welch Edlund)
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The government's key witness in the corruption trial for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has testified that he gave McDonnell and his wife money because it was a business relationship, not because they were friends.

Jonnie Williams took the stand Wednesday afternoon under the cloak of immunity. Williams is a colorful car salesman-turned-venture capitalist and the former chief executive of Star Scientific Inc., a Virginia-based company.

Prosecutors say Williams gave the McDonnells more than $165,000 in secret gifts, cash and loans in exchange for promoting his product.

The trial began by diving into the sordid details of the McDonnells' marriage. Bob McDonnell's attorneys say he was an honest politician. Maureen McDonnell's lawyers say she was not a public official.

Williams' testimony is set to continue Thursday.

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