Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Virginia State News

February 19, 2014

Ex-Va. governor’s attorneys say evidence a mess

RICHMOND, Va. — Lawyers for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Wednesday the evidence turned over by prosecutors in his public corruption case is a mountain of computerized documents “in a chaotic format riddled with errors.”

In court documents, the lawyers called the evidence incomprehensible and said it was “the digital equivalent of dumping five-million loose-leaf documents on the floor.”

The former Republican governor’s lawyers said prosecutors have promised to fix the problem by Tuesday. They asked U.S. District Judge James Spencer to order the government to keep that pledge.

The U.S. attorney’s office has not yet responded to the motion.

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans and gifts from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of a dietary supplements maker Star Scientific Inc., in exchange for helping promote the company’s products. They have pleaded not guilty, and a jury trial is set for late July.

In the latest court filing, defense attorneys specifically asked Spencer to order prosecutors to turn over FBI interview records and grand jury transcripts for Williams and two dozen other witnesses.

In previous motions, McDonnell’s attorneys have demanded copies of instructions that were given to the grand jury as well as immediate access to all evidence that could be helpful to the defense. Prosecutors said the defense does not have a right to the instructions, and they called the demand for other evidence too broad. Spencer has not ruled on those motions.

McDonnell also said in court papers that he will file a motion to dismiss the indictment by March 25, the deadline set by Spencer for motions that he will hear on May 19.

 

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