Former Gov. McDonnell Renews Request to Remain Free During Appeal

File photo|AP

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is renewing his request to be able to be free on bond while they appealed his corruption convictions.

McDonnell’s attorneys filed the request with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday, a day after filing notice that McDonnell would be appealing his case.  They argue that McDonnell would be deprived of a meaningful appeal if he’s required to serve the bulk of his sentence before it’s resolved.. and they say the appeal will raise substantial questions, including whether the government’s interpretation of an “official act” is correct.

Former Governor Bob McDonnell speaks after being sentenced to 24 months in prison on January 6.
Former Governor Bob McDonnell speaks after being sentenced to 24 months in prison on January 6.

 

U.S. District Judge James Spencer denied a request to release him on bond on Tuesday, meaning McDonnell could begin his two-year prison sentence by Feb. 9.

A jury in September 2014 found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of accepting more than $165,000 in loans and gifts — including a Rolex watch and designer clothing — in exchange for promoting a nutritional supplement marketed as a miracle cure by Star Scientific Inc. The company’s former CEO, Jonnie Williams, testified under immunity as the prosecution’s star witness.

McDonnell’s attorneys again argued that the appeal could take almost as long as the sentence itself and would raise substantial questions, including whether the government’s interpretation of an “official act” is correct.

Maureen McDonnell, the former governor’s wife, will be sentenced February 20 on eight counts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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