RICHMOND, Va. — Lawyers for former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell filed an opening brief with the Supreme Court on Monday.
The brief focuses on what constitutes an ‘official action’ by an elected official under the federal corruption laws.
McDonnell’s lawyers argue bribery requires a reward for the person offering it, and say McDonnell’s benefactor never received any official act in return for his $160,000 dollars in gifts and loans.
In 2014, a jury found McDonnell, accepted more than $170,000 in gifts and loans from Henrico CEO Johnnie Williams, in exchange for gaining access to key government officials.
McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison back in January 2015, but the U.S. Supreme Court, and a federal appeal court before that, has allowed him to remain free during his appeals process.
The justices are expected to hear McDonnell’s appeal on his corruption conviction in early 2016.