Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell pauses while making a statement as his wife, Maureen, right, listens during a news conference in Richmond, Va., Tuesday.(Photo: Steve Helber, AP)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife,
Maureen, were released on their own recognizance Friday to await trial
on federal corruption charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Novak
also ordered the McDonnells not to leave the country. The former
governor's lawyer told Novak the defendants already have surrendered
Clearly exasperated by months of news stories
about the case based on anonymous sources, Novak sternly lectured
lawyers from both sides not to discuss the case with the media. He
warned that such conduct violates a local court rule and could result in
contempt of court charges.
"This case is going to be tried in the
courtroom; it is not going to be tried in the media," Novak said. "The
gamesmanship with the media ends now."
The couple arrived for the
bond hearing with an entourage of about two dozen family members and
supporters. They said nothing in court other than answering routine
questions about whether they understood the charges.
Republican governor and his wife were indicted on 14 counts Tuesday
after a lengthy federal investigation of his relationship with a former
CEO of a dietary supplement maker.
Federal prosecutors allege the
McDonnells accepted more than $165,000 worth of loans and gifts from
Jonnie Williams, the former head of Star Scientific Inc.
Prosecutors say that in return, the McDonnells improperly helped Williams promote his company's products.
McDonnell, once a rising star in the Republican Party, has denied criminal wrongdoing.