Could a Troubled Marriage Be a Viable Defense for a Politician on Trial for Public Corruption?

Former Virginia Governor Bob McConnell and wife are accused of trading access for luxury gifts, cash.
3:00 | 08/21/14

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Transcript for Could a Troubled Marriage Be a Viable Defense for a Politician on Trial for Public Corruption?
A trial in the headlines tonight. And not like what we've seen from a political couple in trouble. On the stand, former Virginia governor, bob McDonald. The charge, political corruption. But it was very personal defense that riveted the country today. And ABC's David Kerley has it. Virginia governor, bob McDonald. Reporter: He appeared the polished politician, with convincing confidence. Talked about a possible presidential candidate. But behind the portrait of bob McDonald, was the emotional wreckage of a troubled, dissolving marriage. She would yell at me, she told lawyers, accused of working with his wife, to trade access for luxury gifts and cash. That's why the troubled marriage is key to McDonald's defense. Arguing that things got so bad, with wife, Maureen, they couldn't communicate enough to trade their position for privilege. But prosecutors say businessman Johnny Williams, the CEO of a diet supplement company, provided the McDonalds the use of his private jet, a ferrari, gifts including a Rolex watch, on the governor's wrist. $15,000 for their daughter's wedding reception. In all, $165,000. But the former governor claims the businessman got no special access. I never thought I would be having to testify in a trial like this. Reporter: Painful admissions, emotionally Reading a 2011 love letter to his wife, in which he wrote about the fiery anger and hate from you. You told me again how bad I am. It hurt me to my core. I am lonely sometimes. He went on to tell jurors that it got so bad, he said he would work until she was asleep in the governor's mansion, to avoid contact. If convicted, he and his wife could be moving into prison cells. David Kerley, ABC news, New York.

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