RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell remains confident he will be vindicated in court, despite another legal defeat Friday.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed McDonnell's conviction on Friday, saying in an 89-page ruling he "received a fair trial and was duly convicted by a jury of his fellow Virginians. We have no cause to undo what has been done."
McDonnell and his legal team released statements Friday expressing their disappointment and pledging to fight for innocence.
"I am greatly disappointed with the Court's decision today. During my nearly 40 years of public service, I have never violated my oath of office nor disregarded the law," McDonnell said in a statement. "I remain highly confident in the justice system and the grace of our God that full vindication will come in time. I remain very blessed to have the unwavering support of my family and great friends which continues to sustain me."
McDonnell still has the options to appeal to the full-court panel or to the U.S. Supreme Court and his legal team is vowing to continue the legal fight.
"We are disappointed with the Court's decision affirming Governor McDonnell's convictions," the legal team of Hank Asbill, John Brownlee and Noel Francisco wrote in a statement. "We will review the opinion carefully and continue to pursue all legal options. The fight for justice for our client is far from over."
McDonnell was allowed to remain free while his case made its way through the appeals process. The court ruled in January that McDonnell was not a flight risk or danger to the community and the appeal is "not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantive question of law or fact."
McDonnell was sentenced to 24 months in prison for corruption charges stemming from a political scandal involving gifts he and his wife Maureen McDonnell received from then-CEO of Star Scientific Inc., Jonnie R. Williams. McDonnell claims he was unaware of his wife's lavish New York City shopping spree, paid for by Williams, among other gifts the McDonnells received.
Williams resigned from Star Scientific amid the scandal, and later testified against the McDonnells. Cross examination revealed the government granted Williams immunity in July 2013, six months before the McDonnells were indicted.
During the trial, Bob McDonnell testified he and his wife Maureen were no longer living together and said they began living separate lives 20 years ago. He said their marriage began to fail as his political career began to take off.
Maureen McDonnell faces 12 months and one day in prison on her federal corruption charge.
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