The Supreme Court vacated corruption charges against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Monday.
The Justices unanimously ruled that the government had too broadly defined an "official act."
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"Given the Court’s interpretation of ‘official act,' the District Court’s jury instructions were erroneous, and the jury may have convicted Governor McDonnell for conduct that is not unlawful," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision.
McDonnell and his wife were convicted in 2014 on charges of bribery and corruption after accepting more than $175,000 in loans and gifts from a Virginia businessman who was pursuing the state's help to promote a dietary supplement.
The Virginia Republican was sentenced to two years in prison on 11 felony counts, but he averted time behind bars after the Supreme Court issued a stay on his sentence last year.