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Legal Analyst Breaks Down McDonnell Testimony

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NBC29 Legal Analyst Lloyd Snook NBC29 Legal Analyst Lloyd Snook

The bombshells dropped Tuesday in the trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell moved the focus from the details of accused corruption to those of a rocky marriage.

A legal analyst broke down the McDonnells’ defense, and talked to NBC29 about why they are airing their dirty laundry.

Tuesday in court, Maureen McDonnell's attorney told jurors she was not a wife scheming with her governor husband so they could enrich themselves, but rather was craving attention from Johnnie Williams, former CEO of Star Scientific, who paid attention to her "unlike the other man in her life."

It's certainly a strange defense and a lot of intimate details were revealed in court Tuesday, but analyst Lloyd Snook says the basis of the defense is fairly simple: A conspiracy is an agreement between two people to break the law. If the McDonnells in fact did have a broken marriage it can prove that they weren't agreeing on anything.

On day two of the trial, the courtroom heard everything from private meetings to 1,200 text exchanges between Maureen McDonnell and Williams. That's an indication that this may very well just be the beginning of a long, very personal trial.

"They wouldn't sketch this out in the opening statements if they didn't expect the evidence to go there. I think that what we've seen from what the attorneys have been signaling is that they're going to put in a lot of this personal stuff and it could get worse,” Snook said.

Snook says this is not a defense that is used very often but it could in fact work in the McDonnells' favor. He says the more the defense can separate the two, the better it will be for both of them.

The defense also said Tuesday the former governor will take the stand to explain himself.

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