Richmond’s biggest event of the summer will begin July 28 when former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, go on trial for an alleged gifts scheme that netted them more than $160,000 in cash and luxury goods.
The McDonnells, appearing Friday morning in US District Court, pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud, influence peddling, and impeding an investigation. Prosecutors this week charged that since before the McDonnells settled in the governor’s mansion in 2009, they were lavished with expensive clothes, vacations, and cash gifts by businessman Johnnie R. Williams in exchange for promoting Williams’s nutritional supplement company.
The McDonnells originally tried to have today’s arraignment delayed because one member of their legal team is out of the country, but a judge denied that request. (They still showed up this morning with seven attorneys.) The couple was released without bail and ordered not to leave the country.