There was big news in Virginia on Thursday.
The banner headline atop today's Richmond Times-Dispatch makes that evident.
Federal prosecutors on Thursday moved to drop their corruption case against former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, bringing to a close a case that gripped the state capital, tarnishing the former governor’s reputation and the state’s.
In a brief motion, federal prosecutors asked the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to send the case back to a district court. There, the U.S. will file a motion to dismiss the indictment against Bob McDonnell — once touted as a potential Republican candidate for national office — and against Virginia’s former first lady.
“Today is a great day in which my family and I rejoice,” Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “More than 3½ years after learning of an investigation, the final day of vindication has arrived.”
The Justice Department said in a brief statement: “After carefully considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision” overturning Bob McDonnell’s convictions “and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further.”
In September 2014, a federal jury in Richmond convicted Virginia’s 71st governor and the former first lady on corruption charges stemming from their acceptance of more than $177,000 in gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., then-CEO of Star Scientific, in exchange for promoting the company’s dietary supplement, Anatabloc.
So where is the religion angle in this long-running political drama? Why highlight this story here at GetReligion?
Because there's a strong faith component to the former governor's reaction to the dropped charges — and the Times Dispatch absolutely nails that focus in its coverage.