Former Va. Gov. McDonnell, His Wife Appear in Court

Political couple faces corruption charges for accepting gifts while he was in office.
3:00 | 01/25/14

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Transcript for Former Va. Gov. McDonnell, His Wife Appear in Court
Now to the former Virginia governor and his wife appearing in court for the first time both accused of accepting pricey gifts and loans in exchange for political favors. ABC's Jeff Zeleny has the latest from Washington. Reporter: A republican power couple. Thank you. Reporter: Form are Virginia governor B governor bob Mcdonnell once set his sights on the white house. His wife, Maureen, a Washington Redskins cheerleader turned first lady. So thank you all. Reporter: Partners in marriage and politics. But this morning, prosecutors say the mcdonnells are partners in crime. Come on, guys. Thank you. Thank you so much. Reporter: They appeared in court Friday pleading not guilty to fraud and corruption charges. They're accused of using the prestige of the governor's office to help launch a business venture for a wealthy Virginia donor. In exchange for lavish gift, vacation and big loans. Prosecutors say Maureen went on a Madison avenue shopping spree while the donor picked up the tab. There were Oscar de la rent ball gowns. Hand baglinis from Louis Vuitton, even a Rolex watch inscribed 71st governor of Virginia. A total of $165,000 in gifts and loans. The alleged payback was promoting the donor's dietary supplement company. I will use every available resource to fight and prevail against these false allegations and the unjust overreach of the federal government. Reporter: The prosecutors must prove the governor gave special treatment to the company. I'm glad I've got great friends and family. Love you, governor Mcdonnell. Thank you. Reporter: The mcdonnells after 35 years of marriage could now face even longer prison terms. Now we've covered a lot of political scandals over the years but this may be the first one that centered around a first lady and a shopping spree. But lawyers tell us prosecutors must prove that the governor gave special and improper treatment to that Virginia businessman and that could be a much more difficult legal burden when this case goes on trial in July. Bianna. Dan was saying just that, this could be a difficult case to bring forward. This is not an easy case because of that exact reason. Right, okay. Our thanks to Jeff.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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