Federal prosecutors will not attempt to retry former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, on corruption charges, ending a years-long saga that rocked the commonwealth’s political class and cut short the rise of a Republican Party star.
The conclusion came unceremoniously, as prosecutors filed one-paragraph documents telling a federal appeals court they would move to dismiss the indictments. It means that the McDonnells — who have always maintained they did nothing illegal — will avoid criminal convictions and prison time.
But the images produced at their trial — the troubled marriage, the lavish vacations, a Ferrari ride, the Rolex watch — can hardly be undone. And the case left in its wake a new legal definition of what constitutes public corruption, based on the Supreme Court’s ruling tossing the former governor’s convictions.