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5 ex-attorneys general can't file brief that Va. ex-gov. bribery charges should be dropped

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RICHMOND, Virginia — Five former Virginia attorneys general won't be allowed to file court papers arguing that public corruption charges against ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell should be dismissed.

U.S. District Judge James Spencer says in a one-page order Monday that he declines to exercise his discretion to accept the friend-of-the-court brief. He did not give any other reason.

Spencer previously rejected a similar request by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

The former Republican governor and his wife, Maureen, are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 from the former CEO of a dietary supplements company in exchange for helping promote his products.

The former attorneys general — three Democrats and two Republicans — said in their proposed brief that federal prosecutors are stretching the law's definition of bribery.

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