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Corruption case against former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and wife dropped

WASHINGTON -- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen will not be retried, according to court documents. The motion to remand for dismissal was filed by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente.

The motion states that "The United States respectfully moves for this court to remand this case to the district court for the United States to file a motion to dismiss the indictment with prejudice under Fed. R. Crim. P. 48 (a). The defendant does not oppose this motion."

Once judges from The Fourth Circuit of Appeals approve the motion, it will head back to the U.S. District Court for formal dismissal.

"After carefully considering the Supreme Court's recent decision and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further," Boente said in a statement.

In June 2016, the Supreme Court unanimously threw out McDonnell's conviction on corruption charges.

The 8-0 decision had left open the possibility that McDonnell could be retried, writing that the jury may not have been correctly instructed.

"Because the jury was not correctly instructed on the meaning of 'official act,' it may have convicted Governor McDonnell for conduct that is not unlawful," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in June. "For that reason, we cannot conclude that the errors in the jury instructions were 'harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.' We accordingly vacate Governor McDonnell's convictions."

At issue was what constituted the scope of "official action" under federal corruption law.

McDonnell issued a statement that reflected a wide range of emotions, which can be read in its entirety, here. 

"Throughout this ordeal I have strongly proclaimed my innocence," he said. "I would never do, nor consider doing, anything that would violate the trust of the citizens of Virginia I served during 22 years in state elected office. These wrongful convictions were based on a false narrative and incorrect law."

Governor Terry McAuliffe also released a statement, in which he said "Moving on from this episode is the right thing to do for the McDonnell family and for the Commonwealth of Virginia."

"I agree with the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Governor Bob McDonnell or his wife Maureen any further," said McAuliffe. "Governor McDonnell made mistakes and he apologized and paid a significant price"