Barry Pollack was quoted regarding the likelihood of the government successfully applying the "honest services" law to former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, who have been charged in a 14-count indictment. Practitioners are divided on whether gifts and payments made to Star Scientific were illegal rather than just unseemly. "Clearly, if the government can tie a gift to an expectation with respect to a specific act, that is going to be sufficient to make out the charge of honest services," Pollack said. "But if all they're able to do is to show that when the gifts were made, Gov. McDonnell intended that he would provide some general consideration in return -- but no specific act was in mind -- that may or may not be sufficient."
This article was reprinted in ABC News, The Washington Post and The Seattle Times on January 22, 2014, and in the Albuquerque Journal on January 23, 2014.