Despite the temporary absence of one of his legal team, former Gov. Bob McDonnell still faces his first court appearance Friday.
McDonnell’s lawyers had asked a judge to put off his arraignment for a week because his indictment Tuesday on federal corruption charges caught one of the lawyers out of the country.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak denied the request after a telephone conference call with attorneys in the case.
A motion filed Wednesday in the case said lawyer Henry Asbill, described as a “critical part” of McDonnell’s defense team, was at a foreign location with no airport. A return trip required three airplane flights and a boat ride, according to the motion filed by McDonnell lawyer John Brownlee.
Asbill is on a long-scheduled, prepaid trip for his wife’s birthday, Brownlee’s motion said. One published report said Asbill is in the Grenadines, a chain of Caribbean islands west of Barbados.
McDonnell, who with his wife faces 14 federal charges, is scheduled for an initial appearance and arraignment Friday in Richmond. Novak is to preside at the initial appearance. The arraignment is set before U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer.
This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. on Jan. 22 to note the judge’s denial of the motion for continuance.