ALEXANDRIA, VA (WUSA9) - In early September, WUSA9's news partners at The Washington Post reported that federal prosecutors in Virginia wanted to retry the former governor.
The Post cited people familiar with the case and said the U.S. Attorney's Office is asking top officials of the Justice Department for approval.
A spokesman for the Attorney's Office said he "could not confirm" the Post story. And sources close to the former governor told WUSA9’s Peggy Fox that they've yet to hear anything officially and wonder if it's really true. One suggested the leak might be a trial balloon.
The news that prosecutors are pushing to try McDonnell again comes less than three months after the Supreme Court tossed out the former governor's previous conviction for corruption. The justices set a much higher standard for prosecutors to convict public officials. But now the Post reported prosecutors are recommending a second round even under the higher bar.
Jurors in Richmond convicted McDonnell and his wife in 2014, convinced they used the power of the governor's office to help businessman Jonnie Williams sell a dubious health supplement in exchange for $177,000 in loans, swanky clothes, Ferrari rides and expensive vacations.
Seven members of the Virginia congressional delegation, including one Democrat, are urging Attorney General Lorretta Lynch to drop the case. The current governor, Terry McAuliffe also said it's time to move on. But clearly, not everyone agrees.
The Supreme Court overturned McDonnell's conviction with a unanimous vote. Chief Justice John Roberts said the governor's actions were "tawdry," but that the definition of "official acts" he exchanged for Jonnie William's favors were so broad they could cover almost anything.