Sack Writes on McDonnell Indictments and Honest Services Law

Adjunct Professor Jonathan Sack has co-authored an article with Elkan Abramowitz in the New York Law Journal, entitled, Are We Criminalizing Politics as Usual?  The article discusses the recent indictment of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, for conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and three substantive counts of honest services fraud.  Professor Sack is a member of Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anelloco and a former chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  He also teaches White Collar Crime in the law school’s evening program with Eric Corngold .  Here’s an excerpt of the article:

The law recognizes that politicians need support to run for office and govern, and will in turn try to help their supporters and constituents. The law also contemplates that some exchanges cross the line from politics as usual to criminality. Where the line is drawn is important. If drawn too narrowly, we risk selective criminal prosecutions of political adversaries—worsening an already harsh and exceedingly partisan public life. If drawn too broadly, we risk tolerance of corruption—worsening the already low regard in which our public servants are held. In the prosecution of the McDonnells, the government has drawn a line. The court and possibly a jury will draw their own. In our view, much is at stake.


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