High Court Hears McDonnell Corruption Case

Apr 27, 2016

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R)
Credit official photo

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court could place new limits on the reach of federal bribery laws used to prosecute elected officials as it takes up the public corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The justices on Wednesday will consider whether to overturn McDonnell's conviction for accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement.

The court is expected to clarify what distinguishes bribery from routine actions that politicians perform as a courtesy to constituents.

McDonnell says his role in setting up meetings and hosting events for Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams was part of the customary services doled out by every politician.

Prosecutors say McDonnell accepted personal benefits with the understanding he would take official action to help Williams.

New Consulting Firm

McDonnell has formed a consulting company with his sister to advise corporate clients.

The Virginian-Pilot reports McDonnell formed the company, called The McDonnell Group, last year with his sister, Maureen.

McDonnell is also working as a consultant to The ESG Companies on its plan to build a new arena in Virginia Beach, according to his sister.