From the Washington Post:
“If the court below determines that there is sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Governor McDonnell of committing or agreeing to commit an ‘official act,’ his case may be set for a new trial,” Roberts wrote. “If the court instead determines that the evidence is insufficient, the charges against him must be dismissed. We express no view on that question.”
Roberts added: “There is no doubt that this 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.”
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted by a federal jury in 2014, and McDonnell was close to reporting to prison before the Supreme Court decided to take his case.
The McDonnell case stems from more than $175,000 in loans and gifts — a Rolex watch, vacations, partial payments of a daughter’s wedding reception, among them — that the governor and his family received from Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Williams, the chief executive of Star Scientific, wanted state universities to perform important clinical tests on a dietary supplement the company had developed.
The gifts were not barred by Virginia law, and the tests were not conducted.That last sentence is chilling. What their governor did was perfectly legal under state law.
Who the hell are federal prosecutors to overturn a state law like that?
Virginia decides that, not some Democratic political hack in Washington.