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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell waits in line as he arrives at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for a hearing on the appeal of his corruption conviction, in Richmond on May 12, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

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Maureen McDonnell, wife of former Gov. Bob McDonnell, enters 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for arguments in her husband's public corruption case in downtown Richmond Va., on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (Mark Gormus/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP) ** FILE **

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court for sentencing in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. McDonnell, once a top Republican prospect for national office, was convicted for selling the influence of his office to the CEO of a dietary supplements company. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) ** FILE **

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Lawyers for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, are seeking leniency for the governor, saying he showed mercy during his time in the state house. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) — FILE

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GOP political operative Phil Cox, who helped former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell get elected, has called Gov. Chris Christie the party's "best communicator." (Associated Press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell answers reporters' questions as he leaves the Federal Courthouse in Richmond with his daughter Rachel McDonnell. (Associated Press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gives his daughter, Cailin Young, a kiss as they with (from left) attorney Daniel Small, attorney Henry W. Asbill, son-in-law Chris Young and attorney John L. Brownlee wait to cross the street on the way to the federal courthouse in Richmond, Tuesday where his federal corruption trial continues into its fifth week. (Associated Press photographs)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell walks through a group of media representatives as he leaves the federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, Monday. (Associated Press)

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Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, walks with his daughter Cailin Young as he leaves the federal courthouse Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 in Richmond, Va. Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell wrote a long, forlorn email to his wife three years ago trying to save his marriage, calling her his "soulmate," yet he also said he grew so weary of her yelling that he began taking refuge in his office late at night rather than go home. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown).

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court with his daughter Cailin Young, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. McDonnell begins the second day of testimony in his own defense on corruption charges. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court with his attorney, Henry Asbill (left). After more than three weeks of his trial, Mr. McDonnell took the stand in his own defense Wednesday against charges that he and his wife, Maureen, traded more than $165,000 in gifts and loans for undue access. (Associated Press)

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Jonnie Williams, left, former Star Scientific CEO, heads into the Federal courthouse for the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife in Richmond, Va., Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell leaves the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., with his lawyer John L. Brownlee on the second day of his and his wife Maureen's corruption trial, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alexa Welch Edlund)

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patron: Jonnie Williams leaves federal court in Richmond after testifying on the third day of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen's corruption trial. (Associated Press)

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Jerri Fulkerson, Jonnie Williams' assistant (right), follows a path cleared by her attorney George Terwilliger as she left federal court after completing her testimony in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, walks by reporters as he leaves the Federal Courthouse in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, July 29, 2014. McDonnell and his wife are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans, designer clothes, vacations and a Rolex watch from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, face federal charges for receiving gifts in exchange for political favors, which the couple denies. (associated press)

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell makes a statement as his wife, Maureen, listens during a news conference in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. McDonnell and his wife were indicted Tuesday on corruption charges after a monthslong federal investigation into gifts the Republican received from a political donor. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)