I'm Livin' in Shame

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, hugs his daughters Cailin Young, left, and Jeanine McDonnell Zubowsky, right, after he was sentenced outside federal court in Richmond, Va. The Supreme Court will decide how far politicians can go in doing favors for people who give them money as it takes up the public corruption case of McDonnell. In the court's final argument of the term on Wednesday, April 27, the justices will consider the appeal of McDonnell, who was convicted along with his wife Maureen of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from a wealthy businessman in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

What’s a crime when everything is illegal and nothing is? That’s what lawyers for former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell are arguing at the Supreme Court:


McDonnell’s lawyers will tell the court that the acts that caused a jury to convict him of 11 counts of political corruption and a judge to sentence him to two years in prison are indistinguishable from the favors politicians regularly provide in exchange for gifts and campaign contributions.

“Officials routinely arrange meetings for donors, take their calls, politely listen to their ideas, and refer them to aides,” McDonnell’s lawyer Noel Francisco said in his brief to the court.

“In criminalizing those everyday acts, the government has put every federal, state, and local official nationwide in its prosecutorial crosshairs.”

Take the politics out of money and the money will dry up from politics all on its own.


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