McDonnell corruption case deadline may be deferred one final time

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors on Friday said they want three more weeks to decide whether to move forward with the corruption case against Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

Prosecutors had until Monday to decide whether to proceed with the cases, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the former governor’s corruption convictions in June.

The Monday deadline in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals required either a joint status report or a proposed schedule for new arguments based on the Supreme Court ruling.

In a joint motion filed Friday afternoon, prosecutors said “the parties have been conferring, and that process has progressed but has not been completed within the Department of Justice.”

“The parties will not make any further requests to hold in abeyance the issuance of a briefing schedule,” the motion said.

It indicates that the McDonnells’ defense teams have agreed to the delay.

If prosecutors decide to move forward with the case, they first have to convince the Richmond-based appeals court that there is enough evidence to convict the McDonnells under the new definition of “official acts” from the high court that would have been illegal to trade for cash, gifts and loans.

The McDonnells accepted more than $170,000 in gifts, trips and loans from a Virginia businessman who got full immunity in exchange for his testimony.

The McDonnells were indicted just after leaving the governor’s mansion. They were convicted in 2014 after a six-week trial, but were allowed to remain free as their appeals moved forward.

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