Five former Virginia attorneys general — three Democrats and two Republicans — said in a proposed court filing that corruption counts against former Gov. Bob McDonnell should be dismissed and that Justice Department attorneys overreached in bringing criminal charges for his indiscretions.
“Frankly, we are taken aback by the efforts of federal prosecutors to stretch the law to cover them,” the former attorneys general said in the document filed late Wednesday.
The memo, submitted for the judge’s consideration as a friend of the court brief, says the corruption charges against Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, rely on an “expansive interpretation” of federal law and are alien to any advice they would offer a governor of Virginia. They say such an interpretation creates the possibility of federal prosecution for “normal participation in the democratic process.”
Democrats Andrew P. Miller, Mary Sue Terry and Stephen D. Rosenthal and Republicans J. Marshall Coleman and Mark L. Earley signed the memo. The group, whose service dates back to 1970, represent themselves as all living former state attorneys general who do not or have not represented a party in the case or who have not served as governor.
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