The McDonnell trial: Asked and answered

Daily Press

From the coverage, it probably seems like the trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell is just one bombshell after another.

And it is. The testimony about their relationship, and their relationship with Jonnie R. Williams Sr., is every bit the tawdry spectacle it has been made out to be.

But the frequent eyebrow raisers, and more occassional jaw droppers, are interspered with tedium as attorneys lay foundations and ask the same questions repeatedly of different witnesses.

Or the same witnesses. Over, and over again. There should be no wonder why this trial is slated to last five weeks.

For example: Attorneys on both sides will continue their arguments this afternoon as to whether multiple expert witnesses should be called to testify as to what activities are common for a governor. The McDonnell defense wanted to pay a man $940 an hour to testify that, yes, there's a benefit for Williams in having a civil suit against him delayed during this criminal trial.

As for prosecutors, here's a close paraphrase of a series of questions Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Faulconer asked former McDonnell chief of staff Martin Kent this morning, as he eased into his questioning and laid a foundation for later lines of inquiry:

Faulconer: How common was it for Mr. McDonnell to have meetings on his schedule?

Kent: Very.

Faulconer: How common was it for those meetings to focus on jobs and economic development?

Kent: Very common.

Faulconer: And how common was it for other administration officials ... to attend?

Kent: Very.

BLOCKBUSTER! We'll see you in three weeks or so with a verdict ... hopefully.

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