On Friday, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld former GOP Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s conviction on 11 counts of corruption. The Governor was sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in accepting 177,000 dollars worth of gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, in exchange for illegally using his influence as Governor to promote a dietary supplement Williams was hawking.
McDonnell was permitted to remain free while his appeal was pending, but now time may be running out on the convicted felon ex-Governor. McDonnell is still hoping that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to stay his prison sentence will keep him from spending time behind bars. However, there is no guarantee that the high court will see the matter any differently than the lower courts have. Two courts have now affirmed that McDonnell is guilty and should do the time for his crime.
While Bob McDonnell may still believe that he should be above the law, the courts have made it clear that they do not share his view. The 4th Circuit’s three judge panel ruled unanimously that McDonnell’s conviction should be upheld.
The three judges wrote an 89-page opinion affirming McDonnell’s conviction. The court opinion concluded by stating bluntly:
Appellant received a fair trial and was duly convicted by a jury of his fellow Virginians. We have no cause to undo what has been done. The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
McDonnell, like so many Republicans, preached the gospel of personal responsibility, even as he himself failed to exercise responsibility in his own life. Having being caught engaging in public corruption, McDonnell has refused to be held accountable for his unlawful behavior. While the former governor continues to dodge responsibility, he is about to discover that no amount of denial or arrogance places him above the law. Bob McDonnell abused his power as governor, and now he is inching closer and closer to finding a new temporary home, locked in a federal prison cell.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.