Bob McDonnell’s request for hearing denied by 4th Circuit Court, will appeal to Supreme Court

Posted at 8:44 AM, Aug 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 19:11:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Former Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell's, latest appeal for a rehearing of his corruption convictions has been denied unanimously by the 4th Circuit court. McDonnell was asking the federal court to consider his second appeal. McDonnell was found guilty of corruption charges and sentenced in January to two years in federal prison. Since then McDonnell has been trying to get his guilty verdicts thrown out. McDonnell's lawyer, Henry Asbill, has said they are going to appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court. In a statement late Tuesday, the former governor reacted to the news.  " I am very disappointed in today's court ruling. I am innocent of these charges. In my 38 years of public service to my country and the Commonwealth, I have never misused my office nor ever promised anyone anything in exchange for money. I will continue my journey for justice to the highest court in the United States. I am grateful to my wonderful family, dear friends and legal team for their unwavering support and belief in me, and for the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ for sustaining me. I look forward to the day when vindication is obtained and my family’s good name is fully restored.” Legal experts say however the chances are small the Supreme Court will hear the case.  Carl Tobias, a Supreme Court expert at the University of Richmond, says SCOTUS only hears a fraction of the cases that request a Supreme Court hearing. Four justices are needed to hear the case.  "We will see what the Supreme Court does," Tobias says. Tobias predicts McDonnell attorneys will ask the 4th Circuit as well as the Supreme Court for a stay in his sentence, allowing him to stay out of prison until the Supreme Court decides.  Tobias says it is likely the High Court would be interested in hearing the case, since questions surrounding what exactly is bribery have been brought up as a result.  "Less so because he was an ex governor, more so because of whether or not this was really bribery," Tobias added.  Tobias says in all likelihood McDonnell will receive a date within the next seven days to report to prison and start serving his 2 year sentence. That "report date" will likely be in September.  Former federal inmate Justin Paperny says McDonnell should mentally prepare for prison now.  "If I were him, I would not be speaking negatively about his authority that tends to look a little arrogant," Paperny says.  Paperny spent over a year in low security prison for security fraud and now runs a company called Etika which helps defendants prepare for life behind bars.  Paperny says he should begin thinking about what jobs he will do in prison, he would advice McDonnell to go the teaching route.  "With his expierence and background it should include teaching and tutoring," Paperny said.  Paperny emphasizes that if McDonnell goes to the low security camp in Petersburg, which he has requested, it is still a prison and not a country club like some think.  "I was a member of a Country Club before I went to prison and my country club did not have men deficating in the shower and they didn't tell me when I had to go to bed," Paperny said.  One of the main reasons McDonnell continues to fight for his innocence, other than believing he is not guilty, is his state pension.  Under Virginia law, signed into law by McDonnell, a person cannot keep their state pension if convicted of a felony.  Governor Terry McAuliffe's office released this statement on the subject today per spokesman Christina Nuckols.  "The Governor requested an opinion from the Attorney General's office to ensure that legal requirements are met. Once the Governor received the opinion, he wrote the former governor to notify him of its conclusions and to inform him of the process for compliance."