Following the news that the Department of Justice would not retry former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell on corruption charges, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director and former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder released the following statement:

“Gov. Robert McDonnell accepted nearly $200,000 in cash and luxury goods, including a Rolex watch and flights in a private jet, in exchange for using the Governor’s office to help a business. Those are the undeniable facts that led to his corruption conviction. Despite this, the Supreme Court threw out his conviction, meaning the government would have to retry McDonnell, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office wanted to do. But today, the Department of Justice passed. We are now seeing that the Supreme Court’s decision will in fact result in corrupt conduct going unpunished, just as we feared it would. Even with the Court’s unfortunate decision, the Justice Department had a chance to show it was not deterred and to build on aggressive precedent set by the conviction of then-Congressman Fattah and other recent prosecutions. Instead, the Department sent a clear signal that it would not aggressively enforce corruption laws to hold public officials accountable when they abuse their office. It is our hope that they do not pass on prosecution next time, because rest assured, there will be a next time.”