McDonnell, wife request separate trials

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 file photo, Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, right, and his wife, Maureen, center, behind McDonnell, are surrounded by family and supporters as they leave Federal court in Richmond, Va. The former first lady of Virginia and her husband, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, have been indicted on several counts of trading on their influence to enrich themselves and family members.(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lawyers for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife are asking a federal judge to order separate trials in their public corruption case.

In motions filed late Tuesday night, defense attorneys say Maureen McDonnell wants to testify on her husband’s behalf but would not do so if she also is on trial. The attorneys also say that in a joint trial, Maureen McDonnell would invoke marital privilege that would prevent the former governor from testifying about their private conversations.

The defendants also filed motions seeking dismissal of all but two of the 14 charges against them.

The McDonnells are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company in exchange for helping promote his products. They have pleaded not guilty.

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