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Published: Sat, September 17, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Justice Dept. won't retry ex-Virginia governor McDonnell for corruption

Justice Dept. won't retry ex-Virginia governor McDonnell for corruption

Federal prosecutors on Thursday dropped corruption charges against former Virginia Gov.

But the images produced at their trial - the broken marriage, the lavish vacations, the Rolex watch - can hardly be undone. Bob McDonnell speaks outside the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. after a hearing the appeal of his corruption conviction. According to a Washington Post report, they recommended to the Department of Justice in Washington that he be retried.

"Today is a great day in which my family and I rejoice", McDonnell said in a statement Thursday. A federal court jury returned 20 guilty verdicts against the McDonnells.

One of Bob McDonnell's lawyers, Hank Asbill of Jones Day, said in a statement: "I have always believed in my client's integrity and am very grateful he will now be able to move forward in his life". "This man has paid the price, it is time to move on". CEO Jonnie Williams or pressured other public officials to do so.

By vacating the conviction, the Supreme Court allowed for the possibility of a new trial against Bob McDonnell with a narrower definition of an "official act".

Though many in the Virginia political class-Republicans and Democrats-urged the government to forego a second trial for Mr McDonnell after the Supreme Court ruling, the controversy continues to alarm Virginians.

The eight justices, liberals and conservatives alike, overturned McDonnell's 2014 conviction, saying that his conduct fell short of an "official act" in exchange for a bribe as required for conviction under federal bribery law.

McDonnell - whose name was the subject of vice presidential speculation when Mitt Romney was running for office - undeniably sustained a blow to his own reputation. It also revealed holes in the ethics laws here in Virginia that the General Assembly has yet to do anything about, and unfortunately the fact that McDonnell's conviction was overturned probably means they won't be acting to fix those laws any time soon, especially since the current state of affairs benefits legislators from both sides of the political aisle.

That's certainly one way to look at it, and the ever-affable, non-threatening demeanor of McDonnell doesn't exactly elicit the same emotions as, say, Rod Blagojevich, the combative and feisty former US congressman from IL who's now in federal prison for corruption convictions.

"There were certainly a number of circumstances that caused a lot of us to scratch our heads, but the reality is that nothing that he did violates state laws even remotely, so what we need to do is make sure we re-visit Virginia law to insure that we have better laws governing us politician", said Rasoul. But some legal analysts say the ruling - and the decision not to prosecute McDonnell in spite of it - was necessary. "Sometimes it takes the Supreme Court to rein in prosecutorial overreaching, and that is exactly what has occurred here".

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