No Retrial of Former VA Governor McDonnell

     (CN) — After a Supreme Court reversal, prosecutors said Thursday they will not seek a retrial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on corruption charges.
     McDonnell’s trial two years ago revealed the governor nabbed a free Rolex, while his wife scored a shopping spree at Bergdoff Goodman, from a political donor who headed dietary supplement company.
     The donor — Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams — also lavished McDonnell’s two daughters with wedding gifts.
     With the gifts themselves largely undisputed, the Republican’s appeals rested on the notion that McDonnell took no “official acts” for his benefactor or his company, beyond arranging meetings.
     In overturning McDonnell’s convictions by unanimous vote this past June, the Supreme Court agreed that prosecutors cannot interpret “nearly anything a public official does” as the quo element to prove quid pro quo corruption.
     “There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. “But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute. A more limited interpretation of the term ‘official act’ leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this court.”
     The ruling sprang McDonnell immediately, and set the appellate wheels in motion for a political rogues’ gallery of legislators battling similar charges. Last month, the Fourth Circuit stayed the convictions of McDonnell’s wife, Maureen, and a federal judge blocked the disgraced former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from reporting to prison for his own corruption scandal.
     A motion to dismiss the charges against McDonnell offers little insight, and prosecutors had little to say about the case as well.
     “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,” U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said in a statement

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