POLITICS

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell denied request for delayed court date

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WJLA) - With no delaying the inevitable, Bob McDonnell’s court appearance will come Friday despite his request for a delay – along with plenty of speculation regarding his strategy.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell pauses while making a statement as his wife, Maureen, right, listens during a news conference in Richmond. McDonnell and his wife were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges after a monthslong federal investigation into gifts the Republican received from a political donor.

If you noticed the former governor’s statements on Tuesday, they were very singular:

"I did nothing illegal...I did not try to hide or deceive anyone...I never promised nor attempted to influence anyone..."

In fact, he mostly claimed just his innocence, speaking very little on behalf of his co-defendant: his wife.

"You can see a defense possibly for Governor McDonnell that his wife may have been up to things he didn't know about," explains POLITICO's Josh Gerstein. "The other argument is that he can say he's a very busy man and can't possibly keep track of what every other member of his family asks for."

In fact, a Washingtonian interview with the mansion’s former chef focuses more on issues with Maureen McDonnell than her husband.

"The governor could not handle his wife. We all knew that," he is quoted as saying. "If the first lady did not get her way, she pouted, screamed, yelled. She would swear at you and call you names."

Things reportedly got so bad that the first lady's chief of staff finally told employees to shut off their state-issued Blackberrys at 10 p.m. so Maureen could not hassle them.

While the indictment is scathing for both, in many cases it paints Maureen McDonnell as the one most often pushing for the alleged quid pro quo, demanding gifts in exchange for promotion of Star Scientific’s dietary supplement.

Bob McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell are scheduled to make their first court appearance on 14 federal corruption charges on Friday.

The former governor's lawyers had filed a motion to postpone the appearance until January 31 due to one of McDonnell's attorneys being out of the country. The motion was denied.

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