McDonnell in court to request convictions be overturned - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

McDonnell in court to request convictions be overturned

Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell leaves the courthouse after his wife, Maureen, was sentenced to one year in prison (Source: NBC12) Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell leaves the courthouse after his wife, Maureen, was sentenced to one year in prison (Source: NBC12)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell heads back to court Tuesday, this time to request his public corruption convictions be overturned.
This hearing won't last for weeks - both sides will only get 30 minutes to make their case to the panel of judges.

The mission for McDonnell's attorneys Tuesday is to convince the judges to throw out all the convictions or get a new trial.

Here's how they intend to do that: the former governor's lawyers will argue that the favors for businessman Jonnie Williams, were never official acts. That's the central question this morning, whether or not arranging meetings and allowing a product launch at the Executive Mansion were official acts.

The prosecution is going to argue strongly that McDonnell directly influenced subordinates in his branch of government and that his actions happened days or even moments after he received $50,000 loans to keep his beach properties afloat, a ride in a Ferrari or golf trips free of charge. 

When you look at McDonnell's actions and how close they were to the gifts, prosecutors will argue they are indeed official, are criminal, and McDonnell should serve two years in prison.

McDonnell's lawyers also argued about the media exposure to the jury pretrial. The Defense tried to drive home that they were not allowed to question jurors about their opinion of McDonnell before the trial.

The 142 prospective jurors were given a 99 item questionnaire - one of the questions asked if they could form a fair opinion in the case. The Government argues the questionnaire provided the Defense adequate information about the jurors.

This is a one hour event, but a decision will not come Tuesday. It is expected by September.

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