RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — As former Governor Bob McDonnell’s innocence and freedom rest in the hands of a jury, he spoke exclusively to 10 On Your side about where his head is at.
The 25th day in the public corruption trial of McDonnell and his wife, Maureen was grueling, with closing arguments that both accused and defended the former governor. As he left the Richmond courthouse Friday evening, he focused on positivity.
“I have a remarkable family, my five children, and I’m just glad they were all here as we wind down,” McDonnell said.
His demeanor Friday reflected the way he’s been for almost a month, when arriving and leaving court — bombarded by media, but always available for comment.
Down the street and away from the pack of journalists, McDonnell walked arm-in-arm with his twin sons, Bobby and Sean.
“They are my babies,” the former governor said. “They are 22 now, in grad school. I said many times during the trial, the greatest gift I’ve had is spending time with my family, and now they are here.”
Steps further down the street, and a man sitting, waiting for a bus wished McDonnell luck: “You’re going to come out smelling like a rose,” he said.
“Thank you, sir,” he replied. “God has put so many angels in my path the last few years. People I don’t even know just come up and say, ‘we appreciate what you did as governor. We are for you.’ It’s been a wonderful source of support for me.”
Earlier Friday, during closing arguments, it was mentioned that even the witnesses for the government prosecutors, the former McDonnell staffers, all of them said things to the affect that ‘he was a great boss,’ ‘a great man,’ ‘I would work for him again.’
And it turns out that one of the jury instructions is this: “evidence of good character can create reasonable doubt” in McDonnell’s favor. And the former governor must feel some comfort in that.
“I’ve done the best I can to keep a high standard, not just in office, but for my kids, and if I didn’t, I don’t think I would have five great kids,” McDonnell told WAVY.com.
10 On Your Side asked McDonnell’s son Bobby how tough it is to watch his father go through trial.
“We love him, and we believe in him, and we are going to support him.” Sean also answered, “We are proud to have him as our dad.”
McDonnell said he plans to read this weekend, and won’t be watching TV. He will be in court Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. for jury instructions before the 12 jurors begin deliberation.