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Andrew McBride Comments After Fourth Circuit Upholds Convictions of Former Governor Bob McDonnell

Richmond Times-Dispatch
July 14, 2015

Andrew G. McBride, chair of Wiley Rein’s Communications Appellate & Litigation Practice, was quoted in a Richmond Times-Dispatch article about an appellate court’s decision to affirm the corruption convictions of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously upheld the convictions on July 10, concluding in its ruling that the former governor “received a fair trial.”

“I think that the (U.S. Attorney) will likely move to have him report to begin his sentence,” Mr. McBride said, noting that “the Fourth Circuit opinion is definitive” and “Supreme Court review is unlikely.”

Mr. McBride pointed out that the opinion is positioned in a way that makes the case a poor candidate for review by the Supreme Court of the United States. “The court’s findings on corrupt intent and the presence of a clear quid pro quo seemed designed to fit the case within a classic bribery model—the model that was approved by the Supreme Court in the Skilling case,” he said, referring to a 2010 case involving Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

Still, one aspect of the case that could attract the Supreme Court’s attention is the Fourth Circuit’s ruling on the “official act” instruction, Mr. McBride said. That is “a legal issue of importance, with an arguable circuit conflict that may attract the Supreme Court’s attention,” he added.

To read the full article, click here.