Supreme Court to decide if Bob McDonnell goes to prison

Posted at 11:45 AM, Apr 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Lawyers for former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday that McDonnell's 2014 conviction on corruption charges should be overturned.

McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime. He has not yet served any time as his appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I want to thank my distinguished legal team for their outstanding effort today," McDonnell said following the hearing. "I'm incredibly grateful for the Supreme Court of the United States for accepting the case and the attention that they have given it."

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

The McDonnells sat side-by-side as the Supreme Court justices analyzed the couple's relationship with Williams.

Over the course of the hour-long hearing, the eight justices fired a barrage of questions at attorneys for both the prosecution and McDonnell's defense team.

The justices seemed to grapple over what defined an official act by a government official.

That question is important because the Supreme Court's decision could establish the framework for politicians moving forward.

Justice Stephen Breyer was the most animated throughout the hearing.

The liberal appointee said he was struggling for the right wording that drew the appropriate line between bribery and normal political activity. In essence catching the bad guys without giving prosecutors everywhere the ability to go after politicians for every little thing.

After this morning's hearing McDonnell and his legal team maintained he never abused his power.

"I have never, during anytime during my 38 years a public service, have I ever done anything that would abuse the powers of my office," McDonnell continued outside Supreme Court. "I want to give credit to my Lord Jesus for his sustaining me and my wife and my family during these last 39 months that have been very,very difficult."

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



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