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Patricia O'Connell
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Andrew McBride Interviewed by CNN for Report on Governor Bob McDonnell

August 21, 2013

Andrew G. McBride, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Appellate Practice, was interviewed by CNN for yesterday’s report on the investigation of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.

Federal prosecutors hope to determine by Labor Day whether the governor broke any laws in connection with previously undisclosed gifts he and his family accepted from Jonnie Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, CNN reported.

According to CNN, Governor McDonnell said last month that he had not broken any laws and had already repaid tens of thousands of dollars to Mr. Williams.  Virginia law reportedly does not require elected officials to disclose gifts provided to family members such as the governor’s wife and daughter.  Elected officials are permitted to accept gifts worth more than $50, as long as they are disclosed.

It would be very difficult for prosecutors to make a case against the governor without clear evidence of a quid pro quo, said 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.

“You have the money aspect, and you have the receipt of the money,” Mr. McBride told CNN.  “What I don't see for a federal crime right now is the governor acting in his official capacity in order to aid Star Scientific, in exchange for the money.”

The CNN report featuring Mr. McBride can be found here.