Former Gov. McDonnell |Owes $10M in Legal Fees

     NORFOLK (CN) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell owes more than $10 million to the lawyers who worked to overturn his conviction on corruption charges.
     The revelation came from his sister, Maureen, who revealed the figure at a news conference last week, a day after federal prosecutors announced they won’t attempt to retry the former governor.
     McDonnell and his wife, also named Maureen, were convicted in September 2014 of corruption charges stemming from their acceptance of more than $177,000 in gifts and cash from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific, a firm trying to promote a dietary supplement called Antabloc.
     The U.S. Supreme Court threw out Bob McDonnell’s convictions in June, unanimously ruling that the trial court had given jurors too broad a definition of what constitutes an “official act” under federal law.
     The McDonnell’s had long maintained that Williams was a friend and that nothing they did in their official roles was a quid pro quo for his gifts.
     But McDonnell’s trial, appeal and eventually taking his case to the Supreme Court were costly, and the Restoration Fund, which his supporters started to help him pay or his legal defense, raised just $578,335 over the past two years, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, but it was nowhere near what the appeal would eventually cost.
     McDonnell’s lawyers, Hank Asbill and Noel Francisco of Jones Day, and John Brownlee, of Holland & Knight, issued a joint statement to on September 8, thanking the Justice Department for ending the three-year prosecution.
     “We believe that the (Justice) Department brought this case in good faith based on its view of the law as it existed at the time,” the statement said. “We applaud the Department’s recognition that the interests of justice are now best served by brining this case to a close.”
     In the same statement, McDonnell himself expressed gratitude to the Justice Department for dropping the charges, and for those who had stood by him throughout the ordeal.
     “I cannot thank deeply enough those who steadfastly supported my family and me through this long walk through this dark valley,” McDonnell said. “Virginians and people across the country, both friends and strangers, showered me with expressions of love and encouragement.”
     McDonnell noted that while he is done with politics, he is uncertain, but hopeful about his future.
     “I know not fully what the future holds as I enter the ‘fourth quarter’ of my life,” McDonnell said. “I do know it will be a wonderful adventure, beginning with four blessed new grandchildren, a new small business, countless new friends, and multiple new ministry opportunities.”

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