By Steve Neavling
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison in 2014 for allegedly accepting gifts from a businessman promoting a tobacco-based dietary supplement.
But his sentence was on hold as he appealed the case.
Now, the Justice Department is dismissing the 11 felony counts after the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in June that prosecutors mishandled the case by mixing evidence of illegal activity with routine courtesies, Politico reports.
The Justice Department said the Supreme Court has made it too difficult to retry McDonnell.
McDonnell and his family went on vacations and received gifts and loans valued at $177,999 from the dietary supplement businessman, Johnnie Williams.
The Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors failed to show that McDonnell intended to provide help to William in exchange for gifts and loans.
“After carefully considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further,” said a statement issued Thursday by the Justice Department. “The department thanks the trial team and its investigative partners for their outstanding work on this case.”
McDonnell’s legal team applauded the victory.
“We have said from the very first day that Bob McDonnell is an innocent man. After a long ordeal traversing the entire legal system, that truth has finally prevailed. We are thrilled Governor McDonnell can finally move on from the nightmare of the last three years and begin rebuilding his life,” McDonnell lawyers Hank Asbill, John Brownlee and Noel Francisco said in a statement.