Supreme Court to hear McDonnell corruption appeal Wednesday

Posted at 12:08 AM, Apr 25, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. -- The future of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will soon be in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. McDonnell's public corruption case goes before the eight justices Wednesday.

The former governor and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of accepting  more than $100,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific executive Johnnie Williams.

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.

Details of the McDonnell’s fractured relationship and financial struggles will be center stage during the appeal.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said the personal nature of the case is critically important as it heads to the Supreme Court.

McDonnell's team has said his relationship with Williams was normal government business and that sending emails and setting up meetings does not equal corruption.

But prosecutors have said the McDonnell’s sold their help to Williams and he used his power as governor to influence other people.

"That is really the crux of this because every conviction depends on the definition of official acts," said CBS Legal Analyst Todd Stone.

State senator and close friend of McDonnell, Tommy Norment, said the Virginia’s former governor is upbeat.

"I'd say he's upbeat, he's positive, he's grounded, he's comfortable with himself," Normet said.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision by the end of June.

CBS 6 reporter Jake burns will be in Washington DC for Wednesday’s hearing. You can follow his live tweets at @JakeBurnsCBS6.



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