Maureen McDonnell wants corruption charges thrown out in her case, but not in her husband’s.
Virginia’s former first lady asked for her case to be treated differently from her husband’s case. Her argument insisted on her “unique status as a non-public official”.
Robert McDonnell’s corruption charges are still standing, but the United States Court of Appeals requested a filing from Maureen in order to aid in the decisional process regarding whether it would be possible to treat her case differently.
The former republican governor asked to have his corruption convictions set aside. A three-judge panel rejected his bid and the 4th Circuit decided not to take the matter any further. Right now, Robert McDonnell’s last hope is the Supreme Court.
The former governor’s wife wished to pursue her case separately and hopes that it would be treated differently.
Her lawyers use the argument that the woman couldn’t have broken the law knowingly and deliberately as she could not have known that that her husband’s actions would make a federal bribery case. They also pointed out the fact that the woman is just a high school educated wife of a politician who didn’t have any legal training or experience. They conclude that she couldn’t have known that the actions could violate federal law.
Maureen McDonnell’s filing will be analysed by the prosecutors and she will receive a response next month.
Robert McDonnell and his wife have been convicted in September for lending the governor’s office to a business man in exchange for loans, vacations and luxury goods estimated to be worth 177,000 dollars. The former governor was sentenced to two years in prison and the former first lady is sentenced to a year and a day.
The couple was allowed to keep their freedom while they appealed the case. Robert McDonnell hopes to still be allowed to stay out of jail while he speaks to the Supreme Court.
Given the outcome in her husband’s case, experts believe that Maureen McDonnell will not have her corruption charges thrown out. Even the former first lady’s lawyers believe that the overlap in their appeals also suggests that the two cases will not be treated differently.
Both Maureen and Robert McDonnell consider that it would not be proper for their cases to be linked together. The lawyers agree with them and stand by their arguments while stressing that the prosecutors didn’t prove that the couple planned the whole thing together.
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