Ted Kang, partner in the firm’s Government & Internal Investigations Group, was quoted in a Washington Post article titled “At McDonnell Corruption Trial, Former Va. Governor’s Character Will Be Key.”
The article discussed Former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell’s corruption trial, and how McDonnell will have to convince jurors that his previous reputation as someone who was once known as a “family man who got things done for Virginia” was not a farce.
Kang said prosecutors will try to focus on the actions the former governor took, instead of the man he is. While defense attorneys will argue McDonnell “did it, number one, because he thought that was good for the state of Virginia,” Kang said they will get the chance to do so only after prosecutors take their turn detailing the lavish lifestyle he led when Williams picked up the tab.
“By the time the defense gets to call their first witness, the jury will have heard at least two, maybe three or four weeks of the government’s case about how bad of a guy McDonnell is, how he allegedly used his office for his own personal gain,” Kang said. “I think the defense, when they put on witnesses, they have to do something to try to blunt that.”
But Kang noted that highlighting McDonnell’s character is not without risk, as prosecutors will be given the opportunity to respond to any assertions character witnesses raise, which may allow them to present negative evidence about McDonnell that they otherwise would not have been able to do. “If you want to make sure you don’t open that door too widely, you’ve got to limit the scope of the testimony of that character witness,” Kang said. “It’s a dangerous proposition.”
Kang has provided The Washington Post with ongoing expert opinion and commentary on the developments in this high-profile case. See Kang's other comments regarding this case in The Washington Post.