Decision on McDonnell case put on hold until September

Decision on McDonnell case put on hold until September

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

"The parties jointly request that the case be held in abeyance for an additional three weeks, until September 19, 2016," both sides said in a joint statement. "The parties will not make any further requests to hold in abeyance the issuance of a briefing schedule."

The attorney for former First Lady Maureen McDonnell filed a similar motion asking for her case to also be delayed until September 19.

A Richmond jury had convicted McDonnell in September 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.

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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