McDonnell Defense Accuses Prosecution of Withholding Evidence

Posted: Updated: Mar 06, 2014 09:56 PM

The federal case against former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife has yet another twist. The defense is now accusing the prosecution of withholding evidence.

A 30-page document details the accusations that the government is holding evidence that could help in defense of the McDonnells, who are accused of accepting gifts from the company Star Scientific in exchange for political influence.

Federal prosecutors have intervened in the civil case of Star Scientific shareholders vs. the company's former CEO Johnnie Williams, asking to delay his deposition. Prosecutors say the deposition would not be allowed in criminal court anyway.

NBC29's legal analyst Lloyd Snook says that is where this motion comes into play and the McDonnell team is equating the delay with suppressing evidence. Snook says it sounds worse than it really is.

"It's important to note this motion was filed last week in the middle of a snowstorm and nobody noticed,” Snook said. “So the PR firm sent out a copy of everything to all the news outlets saying, ‘Whoa, take a look at this. Isn't this outrageous?’ This is a PR move more than anything else."

The McDonnell defense team is also asking that all evidence regarding Star Scientific be handed over. Snook says the delay shouldn't have been granted but that handing over the evidence most likely won't happen.

Snook also adds that this is really not a case of the government doing terrible things, but rather a case of both sides jockeying for position.

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