U.S. Attorney Dana Boente's office said Thursday that prosecutors will not pursue another trial in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned the former governor's corruption conviction. Bob McDonnell (R), according to the Associated Press and Washington Post. But his fortunes rebounded in June when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions of both McDonnell and his wife.
In September 2014, a federal grand jury convicted McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, on 11 counts of fraud for having accepted more than $175,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a former executive at dietary supplement company Star Scientific.
"Public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time", it said. "More than 3 1/2 years after learning of an investigation, the final day of vindication has arrived", McDonnell said in a statement.
"The Department of Justice's decision to drop the case signals to politicians nationwide that they can engage in pay-to-play politics with impunity and will give comfort to other officeholders now facing public corruption charges", said Tara Malloy, the center's deputy executive director. The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that the charges against Maureen McDonnell will be dropped as well.
"The Department of Justice's Public Integrity Unit and Assistant United States Attorneys across the country will still make cases", he said. She has waited and prayed for this day for the last three years.
The court unanimously held that the actions McDonnell took to benefit a businessman who gave him luxury gifts may have been distasteful but did not cross the line into illegal conduct. He took the stand in his own defense during his approximately six-week trial in Richmond in 2014, as his attorneys presented evidence that his relationship with is wife was on the verge of collapse.
That's Virginia legal expert Rich Kelsey. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but remained free while the high court considered his appeal.
Historic Event: Moscow, Riyadh Cooperate to Monitor Oil Market
Closer collaboration between the world's top two exporters of crude oil may stoke hopes that OPEC and other big producers will agree to freeze production.
Williams was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony against the McDonnells.
Jeff McWaters, a friend of McDonnell's in Virginia Beach and a former state lawmaker, said he would have been shocked if the Justice Department moved forward with a new trial.
The Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based nonprofit group that argues for tighter laws on campaign finance and government ethics, said the decision not to retry McDonnell pointed to the need for tighter laws.
"Everybody is just very, very, very pleased", he said.
The Supreme Court ruling effectively applied to Maureen McDonnell too, meaning that her conviction also had to be tossed out. "People and policies are", he said.
McDonnell again proclaimed his innocence and said: "These wrongful convictions were based on a false narrative and incorrect law". "I Imagine politicians will be listening more to the Supreme Court's ruling and less to the jurors", Farnsworth said.
Bob McDonnell has started a consulting business with his sister.