A day of bombshells in federal court as the prosecution and defense presented their opening arguments in the federal corruption trial against former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.
Defense lawyers claimed that the then governor and his wife Maureen were in a loveless marriage- one overcome by the demands of his important office. It was a marriage that was falling apart so terribly that Mrs. McDonnell actually told her husband she hated him.
It was that opening that defense laywers claimed today- that allowed a slick millionaire named Jonnie Williams to swoop in and take advantage of Mrs. McDonnell.
Three opening statements- three powerful presentations as the sides laid out their case in this enormous public corruption trial.
The prosecution went first U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber built a meticulous timeline designed to show Williams relationship with the McDonnells was based on the belief that in exchange for gifts and loans the the Governor would use his powerful office to help promote his company Star Scientific.
"This case is about the McDonnell's lining their pockets with secret gifts" said Aber.
But the Defense described a much more complex scenario. They attempted to build the case that Williams took advantage of a vulnerable Mrs. McDonnell.
"This case is going to be in large part about Jonnie Williams," said Chuck James a former Assistant United States Attorney and presently a white collar defense partner with Williams Mullen.
Defense Attorneys said that Mrs. McDonnell and Williams were so close that she often described him as her "favorite playmate".
William Burck, a member of the former First Lady's legal team said he wished that he didn't have to delve into the McDonnell family business, but said it was a necessity.
He described the relationship as quote:
"Inappropriate for two people who were not married."
That wasn't the only family business put on public display.
The government called the McDonnell's daughter Cailin McDonnell Young as a witness. It was her wedding that was the start of the entire investigation.
Cailin broke down in tears as prosecutors showed pictures of her in her gown. She said there is a "dark cloud" forever over her wedding day. Despite her emotional testimony Cailin was insistent that the Williams $15 thousand payment to cover the expenses for her reception was a gift to her and not her father.
James said the dirt on the McDonnell's may continue to pile up during this trial- but it may not be enough to convict them.
"Some of her behavior was untoward, some of her behavior was embarrassing, the question is whether or not it is illegal."
And the jury will get their chance to hear from both of the key players in this case. Jonnie Williams will be the star witness for the prosecution while the former Governor himself Bob McDonnell will take the stand in his own defense.
Court starts Wednesday at 9:30am. The day will start with the continuation of the testimony of Williams' personal assistant.