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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Jurors could begin deliberating as early as Friday in the federal corruption case against Virginia ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife Maureen. Over five weeks of testimony, jurors have heard a barrage of details about the McDonnells’ finances and about their interactions with a wealthy Virginia businessman, Jonnie Williams, from whom the couple is accused of taking $177,000 worth of gifts and loans in exchange for lending the credibility of the governor’s office to Williams’ dietary supplements company.

But without a doubt, the most engrossing aspect of the trial has been the revelations about the McDonnells’ marriage. In testimony, the governor painted a picture of his marriage veering so far into soap opera territory that pundits began referring to it as the “crazy wife” defense. Legal experts told TPM that was an unprecedented strategy to deploy in such a high-profile criminal case.

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Virginia ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) revealed during testimony last week that he moved out of his family home and in with his parish priest the week before his federal corruption trial began.

McDonnell explained on the stand that living separately from his wife Maureen would make it easier for him to prepare for trial each day and described their marriage as "on hold." The priest he is staying with or the time being, Rev. Wayne Ball of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Richmond, Va., is a family friend who officiated his daughter Cailin's wedding.

Ball also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex charge in late 2002.

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