Andrew Wise was quoted regarding former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's 14-count indictment alleging corrupt usage of the office for personal gain. Public corruption cases are tricky in general, and McDonnell's case faces a unique challenge as much of it hinges upon the testimony of one star witness. "The challenge is, if it comes down to the word of one person, who has real incentive to tell a story the way the government would like to hear it, jurors are likely to be skeptical and focused on those motivations," Wise said. Star Scientific CEO Johnnie R. Williams, who is alleged to have provided lavish gifts and loans to McDonnell and his wife in exchange favorable treatment, is cooperating with federal investigators in the case.
Prosecutors in the case refer to a "stream of value" theory to argue that McDonnell offered services in exchange for financial benefit. By showing that multiple gifts were a part of the same stream, the government avoids having to prove an agreement between parties for each gift. "This stream-of-value theory allows the government to argue that the public official was essentially on retainer," Wise said, adding that the law that defines a corrupt agreement is vague, which can present a major problem for the defense.
Wise's comments from this interview were also published in Newsmax on January 23, 2014.