McDonnells racked up $91k in credit card debt - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

McDonnells racked up $91k in credit card debt

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Wednesday in court, a bombshell revelation about the McDonnell financial situation the day the former governor took office. The newly elected First Family had racked up nearly $75,000 in credit card debt by January of 2010.

It is all about motive. 

Bob and McDonnells were drowning in debate on many levels and prosecutors are arguing that is why they got involved with Jonnie Williams. A relationship that had the potential to compromise the Governor's office. 

In January of 2010 Virginians celebrated the inauguration of their new governor, but as Bob McDonnell took the oath of office, what his new constituents did not see was a First Couple in a dangerous financial situation.

They had racked up huge credit card bills including:
*$14,000 to PenFed Credit Union
*$14,500 to Bank of America
*$3,700 to Citibank
*$10,800 to First USA

In total their credit card debt was $74,904.11 over seven different cards and it ballooned to $91,000 in September.

And that was just part of the problem.

FBI Special Agent David Husler testified that the The McDonnell's two vacation properties in Sandbridge were also encouraging cash, losing as much as $83,000 from 2009-2010.

That is right around the time Jonnie Williams entered the picture. Hulser testified that Williams and Maureen McDonnell started communicating in earnest in April of 2011 shortly after that big New York shopping spree. Bob and Maureen McDonnell did not speak on the phone once with the millionaire before April of 2011, after that the Maureen called Jonnie often and traded more than 700 text messages with him. 

After the Virginia State Police first interviewed Mrs. McDonnell the communication completely shut down. Not one more call or text.

The testimony is crucial because it establishes a key contention of the prosecution, that the McDonnells were in such desperate financial straits that they had no choice but to look for a savior and Williams was their man.

It is a point the Defense plans to forcefully rebut. Something they may be able to do as soon as next week.

Also on the stand today Nannette Bolt, a mortgage specialist with Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Bolt was in charge of running through the process of the McDonnells refinancing the loans on their personal home in Wyndam and their properties in the Blue Ridge Mountains and in Sandbridge.

The Government is trying to prove that the former Governor hid his loans from Jonnie Williams, and then only reported them to PenFed after the State Police initially interviewed his wife.

Bolt testified that while the McDonnells did change the loan application, the process was far from over. They eventually granted the loans and the information involving Williams was not a part of the final application.

Meanwhile the prosecution is expected to rest its case by as soon as Thursday. Special Agent Hulser is their "summation witness". He was still facing direct questioning at the end of the day Wednesday. He will still need to face cross examination.

If Husler finishes on Thursday, Judge James Spencer said he will give the jury the day off on Friday. The defense will then get the case on Monday.

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