Ex-Va. gov.'s former scheduler on stand in corruption trial

RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA9) -- Two of the prosecution's witnesses may be doing more to help the defense than the prosecution in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

The prosecution certainly made the point that Bob McDonnell requested a meeting between Jonnie Williams and a Department of Health staff member, but the defense showed that the health employees were just doing their job with that meeting and didn't see any scheme by the governor.

LIVE UPDATES: U.S. vs. Bob & Maureen McDonnell trial

Molly Huffstetler worked for the Department of Health in Virginia and said Tuesday that she and her staff members referred to Jonnie Williams as the "Tic Tac man" because he described putting his nutritional supplement in the form of a Tic Tac.

Huffstetler said she met for an hour with Jonnie Williams, listening to his pitch, a request that came from the governor. But she didn't think much of Jonnie Williams. She had no plans of helping his company and then wrote a "blow off" thank you email to him.

MORE: Ex-Va. gov's broken marriage is surprise to star witness

Another prosecution witness, Bob McDonnell's former scheduler Monica Block, testified that state health officials would have never met with Jonnie Williams had the governor not asked for it, but she said she never saw any scheme by the McDonnells.

Block testified that it was Jonnie Williams who made detailed plans to take Maureen McDonnell on a New York shopping spree, commenting on an email she wrote that said Maureen liked Jonnie because he was loaded.

Block also said Maureen didn't know the difference between friends and donors and that she had a "blind spot" for that.

VCU Doctor John Clore attended events with Jonnie Williams and said he thought that Antabloc had promise. He said Williams handed him a $25,000 check for for research on the product, something that had never happened before in his life. He handed the check to someone else and the research never happened.

VIDEO: Bob McDonnell speaks outside court

Bob and Maureen McDonnell are accused of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting Star Scientific's products.

Williams, who resigned as chief executive of Star Scientific at the end of last year because of the bad publicity from the McDonnell investigation and other issues, concluded his testimony on Monday.

Williams remained consistent throughout his four separate days in the stand — starting Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and concluding before Monday's lunch break — in maintaining that his generosity to the McDonnells was for the benefit of his company, dietary supplement maker Star Scientific.

He denied ever having any physical contact with former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell and was surprised to hear the the couple may have marital problems.

Williams noted that his entire relationship was business and that he was "always on point" around the governor.

Contributing: Paulina Firozi, USA TODAY


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