Bob McDonnell owes more than a debt of gratitude to the lawyers who defended him through years of legal troubles against the federal government.
The Associated Press reported Friday that the former Virginia governor owes his legal team more than $10 million ― a tab that began to increase as his corruption case moved through trial, appeals and a successful Supreme Court bid. The court threw out his multiple convictions in June.
Last week, the Department of Justice announced that it wouldn’t seek a retrial of McDonnell or his wife on charges that he accepted lavish gifts and other favors in exchange for using his position as governor to help a Virginia businessman who wanted to promote health supplements.
“I was blessed with a faithful and competent legal team, who advocated my cause zealously at every step, committed to prevailing,” he said in a statement after the DOJ announcement.
A group of supporters set up a fund to help McDonnell with his legal expenses, but those efforts have only raised about $578,000. Among top donors to the cause was former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who donated $10,000 in 2014, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Beyond the McDonnell case, it is expected that his vindication by the Supreme Court will reverberate in other federal corruption prosecutions ― including those of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and former New York state lawmakers Sheldon Silver (D) and Dean Skelos (R).