Posts Tagged ‘trials’

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

August 28, 2014

McDonnell Trial Soap Opera Continues

“The more that he describes his wife as crazy, then it begs the question of well, if your wife was crazy, why didn’t you stop her?” — Andrew Cowan, former federal prosecutor.

“But the fact is, is the juror thinking this guy is a cad, or been-there-done-that, ‘I have a wife just like that, I come home and this is all I hear?'” —  Attorney Barbara Van Gelder.

Quoted in:

“McDonnell’s ‘Crazy Wife’ Defense Is Totally Unprecedented,” Catherine Thompson , Talking Points Memo



Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

August 25, 2014

Bob McDonnell: Cad or Rotter?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell testified on his own behalf last week in his corruption and bribery trial. The devoted husband and father of five of the 2009 gubernatorial campaign explained that all the unfortunate events in question could be blamed on his screaming lunatic harridan of a wife, Maureen McDonnell.

There’s no real political downside for Mr. McDonnell, who already lost any chance of getting women’s votes when he backed a vaginal probe clause in a proposed Virginia bill. On the other hand, what Real American Guy wouldn’t want to drive a Ferrari and own a Rolex and doesn’t blame stuff on his wife?

Right before the trial, Mr. McDonnell moved out of the house he shared with his wife of 38 years. He’s been living with his priest at the rectory of St. Patrick’s Church in Richmond. He’s probably thinking that, if the couple are convicted, he can claim sanctuary and Maureen can plead insanity.


McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

August 11, 2014

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

Before he was Virginia’s Governor or Attorney General, Robert Francis McDonnell wrote a Masters Thesis at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University, now called Regent University. The thesis: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” (1989). It’s in the Regent U Library, but the Washington Post posted it online during the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

On page 65 of the thesis (page 71 of the PDF) Mr. McConnell lists the “real enemies of the traditional family” as “materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness….” Well, the McDonnell corruption trial hasn’t involved feminism so far, anyway. On the other hand, the author of that thesis did acknowledge that his wife Maureen provided “expert clerical support” for the 94-page document ….


“Focus on the Family,” Daliah Lithwick, Slate


Short Link:

Image (“McDonnell Defense, In One Bumper Sticker”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine


McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

August 1, 2014

McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

The former NFL cheerleader had feelings for the shady millionaire snake-oil salesman, who gave her gifts, favors, and cash in order to influence her husband, the state’s Governor. That’s the Exculpatory Soap Opera Theory introduced by the defense in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and they’re sticking to it.

Political tragedy? Please. More like campy, middle-age melodrama.


“Ex-First Couple’s Defense in Virginia: The State of Their Union,” Trip Gabriel, New York Times

“McDonnells pin acquittal hopes on bad marriage in Virginia trial,” Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Testimony seems to back up ‘bimbo defense’ in McDonnell corruption trial,” Mark Holmberg, WTVR-TV News

“Trial of Virginia Ex-Governor and His Wife Is an Amazing Soap Opera,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

“Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes ‘crush’ defense,” David Sherfinski, Washington Times


“10 gifts U.S. wants ex-Va. governor, wife to forfeit,” USA Today

“Virginia’s First Lady-elect Maureen McDonnell was a Former Redskins Cheerleader,”

“Of Course! Disgraced Gov. McDonnell Is Now Teaching At Liberty U,” karoli, Crooks & Liars



Image (Midday Melancholy, after Constance Charpentier) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

‘My Brain Made Me Do It.’

November 17, 2013

'My Brain Made Me Do It.'

“Criminal courts in the United States are facing a surge in the number of defendants arguing that their brains were to blame for their crimes and relying on questionable scans and other controversial, unproven neuroscience, a legal expert who has advised the president has warned.

Nita Farahany, a professor of law who sits on Barack Obama’s bioethics advisory panel, told a Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego that those on trial were mounting ever more sophisticated defenses that drew on neurological evidence in an effort to show they were not fully responsible for murderous or other criminal actions.


Berlusconi Big House Bound?

March 9, 2013

Berlusconi Big House Bound?

Silvio Berlusconi, billionaire septuagenarian, football team owner, former Italian Prime Minister, Bunga-Bunga Party host, and one-time cruise ship crooner, was convicted in a wiretap leak trial and sentenced to a year in prison. Actually, under Italian law, old farts don’t have to serve sentences of under two years in prison. His 63-year-old kid brother Paolo, editor of Il Giornale, may not be so lucky; he was sentenced to two years and three months.