Decision in McDonnell case on hold until mid-September

WAVY News 10

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/WAVY) — Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, attorneys said Friday they will continue examining the case for another three weeks.

A deadline of Aug. 29 had been set for attorneys to file a “proposed briefing schedule or joint status report” in the case. The parties jointly requested that the case be held until Sept. 19.

In a joint statement Friday, both sides said, “The parties will not make any further requests to hold in abeyance the issuance of a briefing schedule.”

A jury convicted McDonnell in September of 2014 of taking more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from Goochland businessman and Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. Prosecutors asserted McDonnell took cash, luxury goods and getaways, in exchange for helping Williams’ dietary supplement company.

Special Coverage: Bob McDonnell Trial

Prosecutors said during the trial that McDonnell and his wife Maureen received the gifts and financial favors in return for arranging preferred access between Williams and Virginia government officials.

The arrangements were allegedly made with the expectation of securing state funds to help Williams and his dietary supplement pill, Anatabloc.

McDonnell’s lawyers said the governor’s acts, “were limited to routine political courtesies: arranging meetings, asking questions, and attending events.”

But government lawyers countered Williams received help from the governor’s office within days or minutes of the businessman sending the McDonnells money for credit card payments. In their view, the situation created a critical, and criminal context.

In June’s Supreme Court ruling, the court said the case “is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.”

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