Appeals Court Affirms Conviction of Ex-Gov. McDonnell

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the corruption convictions of Virginia former Governor Robert McDonnell. The opinion is here. McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison and has been free pending appeal. What he did:

Over the course of five weeks of trial, federal prosecutors sought to prove that former Governor of Virginia Robert F. McDonnell (“Appellant”) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, accepted money and lavish gifts in exchange for efforts to assist a Virginia company in securing state university testing of a dietary supplement the company had developed. The jury found Appellant guilty of eleven counts of corruption and not guilty of two counts of making a false statement.


Maureen O'Donnell was tried with him.

[She was found] guilty of eight counts of corruption and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. The jury found her not guilty of three counts of corruption and one count of making a false statement.

Her appeal is proceeding separately. She was sentenced to 12 months and a day.

Among McDonnell's arguments: The evidence was insufficient to support his convictions pursuant to the honest-services wire fraud statute and the Hobbs Act.

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    Well, I prefer to look at the bright side. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jul 10, 2015 at 05:05:35 PM EST
    At least Bob McDonnell won't be a GOP candidate for president, which he most surely would have otherwise been, had he not gotten caught with the proverbial hand in the cookie jar.

    The corruption charges against Maureen McDonnell always appeared to me to be the more problematic of the two, given that she was not a public official per se, but rather Virginia's "First Lady."

    Yet in a great many respects, she also appeared to be the primary instigator in this scheme. Would her husband as governor have succumbed to temptation on his own, were she not there to egg him on?

    Anyway, good riddance to the both of them. Because if there is one type of crime for which I might be considered a hardliner, it's public corruption. Violations of the public trust, which include failures to disclose real and potential conflicts of interest, are something which we should never countenance and excuse.


    Lack of office does not equal lack of power (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jack E Lope on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 12:10:43 PM EST
    The corruption charges against Maureen McDonnell always appeared to me to be the more problematic of the two, given that she was not a public official per se, but rather Virginia's "First Lady."

    I don't see the problem - but the Maureen McDonnell case seems more clear-cut than that of Cylvia Hayes, former "First Lady" of Oregon, who was not even married to Governor Kitzhaber when she performed the acts that are alleged to be corrupt.  In Hayes' case, it appears that the Governor was not aware of (at least some of) her actions that are questionable.  The AG is treating her as a public official.

    If the Governor had colluded with someone outside his household to commit such acts, wouldn't that person have accomplice liability (or whatever the term might be) for their participation?


    In the Cylvia Hayes case... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cashmere on Mon Jul 13, 2015 at 01:05:41 PM EST
    Re: Cylvia Hayes, from media reports and her emails that have been leaked (obviously nothing proven in court yet), she: 1) and the governor stressed her role as the first lady, even though they were not married, and she benefited from her role as first lady with perks paid for by tax payers (of which I am one), including such things as trips, security, living and using Mahonia Hall (Oregon's home for the governor's family in Salem), etc.; 2) Cylvia Hayes appeared to be heavily involved in influencing the governor on many policy issues, was included in high level staff meetings, and then used her role as first lady to gain contracts on behalf of her personal company.  It has been a while since I read all about it, but the leaked emails seemed to indicate that former Governor Kitzhaber was aware of Cylvia's dual roles, and put pressure on other public officials to make things happen for Cylvia.  In many instances, he seemed to let Cylvia take the lead and he appeared to be asleep at the helm.  Anyway, the court will have the final say, but many Oregonians, including me, a liberal, are very disappointed in the former governor that we once had great faith in.  

    I wonder (none / 0) (#2)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Jul 10, 2015 at 08:34:09 PM EST
    ...how the marriage is going.  Bob could have got her off by falling on his sword, but he decided to mix a metaphor by throwing her under the bus.

    He did the corruption, but it seems clear that she shared the greed as well as the conviction.  They aren't any more crooked than any of the current crop of GOP candidates, but their lack of subtlety was shocking to say the least.