Witnesses inflict damaging blows in McDonnell Trial - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Witnesses inflict damaging blows to close out Week 2 of McDonnell Trial

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Ten Days of their Federal Corruption trial are complete, and these last two have been rough on Bob and Maureen McDonnell.

It was a potentially damaging day, because two witnesses who poked a number of holes in the defense narrative about this case. One of those witnesses didn't seem to have a problem doing so, the other seemed to be incredibly uncomfortable.

It has been a long two weeks for just about everyone, especially the former governor.

"I hope to get to the weekend," McDonnell said entering court.

But getting to the weekend would not come easy for the McDonnells, after two witnesses- one a family friend, struck big blows against the defense's story about the former first family's relationship with Jonnie Williams.

The first was former Star Scientific Board Chairman Paul Perito a former federal prosecutor and colorful character.

Period spoke about how when he learned of his business partner loaning money to the Governor and his family he was alarmed.

"I was breathless," he said. "It was one of the most egregious errors in judgment ever."

Perito said when Williams called him to inform him that he'd be subpoenaed by the federal government he was sobbing.

Perito's testimony could be damaging, but he is not a McDonnell family friend. Their stock broker John Piscatelli is and he was forced to talk on the stand about how Maureen McDonnell went to great lengths to avoid having to report her purchase of Star Scientific Stock.

At times Piscatelli seemed forgetful or even unwilling to recall the facts. He was pushed by prosecutors and then reminded of his grand jury testimony.

By the end of his direct questioning he conceded that Mrs. McDonnell had moved her stock around to avoid the reporting requirements. He also revealed that the McDonnell's had considered a risky loan arrangement based on Star-Scientific stock that was to be given to them by Williams.

The loan arrangement plan was later abandoned. Williams eventually just loaned them the cash straight.

And while Friday was rough, keep in mind this is a long trial, and the defense has yet to even begin their case.

With only two weeks in, we are not even halfway just yet.

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