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Former Virginia governor won’t face trial over corruption charges, feds drop case

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Fourth Estate Staff

Richmond, VA, United States (4E) – Federal prosecutors have dropped the public corruption charges against former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen so neither will face trials.

McDonnell was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2014 and was sentenced to two years in prison. McDonnell was initially convicted due to violating federal bribery law as he accepted luxury gifts and loans from a businessman, named Jonnie Williams, in exchange for promoting his dietary supplement. He and his wife Maureen were found guilty of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.

However, he did not serve his time behind bars as he remained free due to a pending appeal. The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the conviction of McDonnell but they did not close the idea of having a retrial two months ago. They believe that McDonnell’s acts were distasteful but did not violate laws since the law specifically says that it will only be illegal for a public official if he agrees to take official action in exchange for money.

The Supreme Court said that setting up a meeting for the businessman or organizing an event are not considered official acts. Prosecutors then indicated this week that they no longer want to pursue a second trial against the former public official. Maureen was also supposed to spend a year behind bars but her conviction was also overturned.

U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente said in a statement, “After carefully considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further.”

McDonnell released a statement about the prosecutors not seeking a second trial for him and his wife. He said that he has strongly proclaimed his innocence and would never do anything that would violate the trust of the citizens of Virginia, which he served for 22 years.

The former governor said that he is not sure what is next for him but he has begun to repurpose his life to further service his fellow men outside politics. He did not give details about this.

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