Supreme Court throws out bribery conviction of former VA governor

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court’s decision on the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (all times local):11:30 a.m.

An attorney for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is calling the Supreme Court’s ruling a “home run.”

Noel J. Francisco said Monday that McDonnell’s legal team is delighted with the high court’s decision to overturn the former governor’s corruption conviction.

Francisco said the justices “completely embraced” the theory of McDonnell’s case and rejected the government’s argument. Francisco argued before the court on behalf of McDonnell in April.

The high court took no position on whether prosecutors may try McDonnell again. The case now returns to lower courts to decide that question.

Francisco said the strength of the court’s ruling makes it unlikely that a new trial would go forward.10:30 a.m.

A unanimous Supreme Court has overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in a ruling that makes it harder to prosecute elected officials accused of bribery.

The justices ruled Monday in favor of McDonnell, who was found guilty in 2014 of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement.

The former governor says he never took any official action to benefit Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams or pressured other public officials to do so. McDonnell says he simply performed routine courtesies for Williams such as setting up meetings and hosting events.

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

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