Pennsylvania’s former State Treasurer Rob McCord plead guilty today to two charges of extortion.
McCord resigned last month after it was revealed he was being charged with two counts of extortion concerning threats made while soliciting political donations for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.
The State Treasurer was not yet sentenced and the proceedings were rather dull except for one unplanned moment.
At one point, U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones asked McCord if he fully understood the charges of attempted extortion he faced.
McCord answered by saying, “I think so.”
Jones did not feel that answer was good enough.
“The answer has to be yes or no,” the Judge asserted.
McCord conferred with his lawyer, Robert Walsh, Jr., for several seconds before replying that he understood all charges. Those charges carry a maximum of 40 years in prison along with $500,000 in fines.
It is unlikely McCord will face the most severe penalties, but McCord does not have a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office. Jones told McCord that he will be the ultimate arbitrator in the sentencing though the Judge will also rely on recommendations from a federal probation officer.
Jones scheduled the sentencing hearing for a June 29.
McCord does remain free on bail, although he surrendered his passport to the FBI.
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