Feds: Clear-Cut Bribery Case Against McDonnell

Posted: Updated: May 09, 2014 10:21 AM

Federal prosecutors are firing back at former Governor Bob McDonnell this week.  Attorneys for McDonnell and his wife Maureen are trying to get criminal corruption charges thrown out. But the feds object, arguing the evidence speaks for itself.

This is a preview of things to come, as the McDonnells prepare for trial this summer. All of the motions back and forth give a glimpse into how both sides are approaching the case.

In court documents filed Thursday afternoon, U.S. prosecutors fought back against the McDonnells’ attorneys seeking to get many of the couple's 14 federal corruption charges thrown out.

They're charged with taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans in exchange for promoting Virginia business Star Scientific. The former governor and first lady argue they never took any official actions to help the company, and their charges should be dismissed.

Prosecutors disagree. In filings Thursday, they say, "The government need neither prove nor even allege that a public official actually followed through on the corrupt bargain." Citing similar cases, they go on to argue "...acceptance of the bribe is violation, not performance of the illegal promise."

Plus, they say defense attorneys are making all of these claims prematurely, arguing their case through motions before the trial even starts.

It is unlikely charges will be dismissed, especially considering how tough Judge James Spencer has been on defense motions to date.

The former first family is scheduled for a six-week jury trial beginning July 28.