The Ferrari carrying former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appears to have made a U-turn this week on its way to the federal penitentiary. Covington released today a Client Alert on the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, a decision which vacated Governor McDonnell’s conviction and redraws the lines for corruption prosecutions. The Court held a public official does not violate federal law simply by taking a benefit in exchange for arranging a meeting with or providing access to public officials and employees, or asking those employees to consider an issue. Instead, the official must take action or make a decision, or agree to do so, on a specific and focused matter that involves a formal exercise of government power, including advising or pressuring others to take an action or make a decision. But, as described in the Client Alert, the consequences of McDonnell should not be exaggerated.