May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

The Supreme Court Redraws the Lines for Corruption Prosecutions

The Ferrari carrying former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appears to have made a U-turn this week on its way to the federal penitentiary. Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States,  which vacated Governor McDonnell’s conviction  redraws the lines for corruption prosecutions.   The Court held a public official does not violate federal law simply by taking a benefit in exchange for arranging a meeting with or providing access to public officials and employees, or asking those employees to consider an issue.  Instead, the official must take action or make a decision, or agree to do so, on a specific and focused matter that involves a  formal exercise of government power, including advising or pressuring others to take an action or make a decision.  But, the consequences of McDonnell should not be exaggerated.

© 2019 Covington & Burling LLP

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


About this Author

Robert Kelner, Covington, Government affairs attorney
Partner

Robert Kelner is the chair of Covington’s nationally recognized Election and Political Law Practice Group.  He counsels clients on the full range of political law compliance matters, and defends clients in civil and criminal law enforcement investigations concerning political activity. He also leads the firm’s prominent congressional investigations practice.

Mr. Kelner’s political law compliance practice covers federal and state campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, pay to play, and government ethics laws. His expertise includes the Federal Election Campaign Act...

202.662.5503
/www.insidepoliticallaw.com/
Robert Lenhard, Election and political attorney, Covington
Partner

Robert Lenhard is a member of the firm’s Election & Political Law practice group and advises corporations, trade associations, not-for-profit organizations, and high-net-worth individuals on compliance with federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, and government ethics laws.

Mr. Lenhard routinely assists clients in establishing and operating federal and state PACs, compliance programs associated with campaign finance and pay-to-play laws; advises advocacy groups and their donors; conducts compliance trainings and audits of federal and state lobbying and political programs; and counsels clients on compliance with congressional gift and travel rules.

202-662-5940
Zachary Parks, Election, Political Law Attorney, Covington Burling, Law firm
Special Counsel

Zachary Parks advises corporations, trade associations, campaigns, political parties, and high-net worth individuals on their most important and challenging election and political law problems. 

At the federal level, Mr. Parks' expertise includes the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Lobbying Disclosure Act, the Ethics in Government Act, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay-to-play rules.  He has also helped clients comply with the election and political laws of all 50 states. 

202-662-5208
Andrew Garrahan, Public policy attorney, Covington Burling
Associate

Andrew Garrahan represents and counsels clients at the intersection of law and politics. He guides them through both regulatory compliance issues and government investigations on matters including state and federal campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and corruption.

Mr. Garrahan’s prior career in political fundraising gives him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by his clients, which include corporations, candidates, government officials, political and nonprofit organizations, and private individuals.

202-662-5841