Senior Communications Manager
Andrew McBride Discusses Possible Appeal of McDonnells’ Conviction on Corruption Charges
Andrew G. McBride, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Appellate Practice, was quoted in separate articles published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the aftermath of the trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell.
A federal jury convicted the McDonnells of corruption in connection with gifts they accepted while Mr. McDonnell was governor. Mr. McBride said that the judges’ definition of an “official act” in the jury instructions could be interpreted as overbroad. “I think this instruction pretty much doomed McDonnell,” Mr. McBride said to The New York Times. “I think they have a substantial case on appeal. They have an appeal to say that was way overbroad.” He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the broad interpretation of an “official act” has been previously debated in federal appeals courts.
“The honest services fraud theory has always been controversial, and there are cases in the D.C. Circuit and others that arguably conflict with the very broad approach adopted in Judge Spencer’s instructions,” Mr. McBride told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Mr. McBride, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Justice Department who spent seven of those years as assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, told The Washington Post that the convictions serve as a warning to other elected officials. “If you’re a smart governor or state politician of any stripe, you are going to be very wary about accepting any personal gift of any size from anyone,” Mr. McBride said.