Forty-four former state attorneys general from across the country have urged a federal appeals court to toss out former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's public corruption convictions.

They say a jury convicted McDonnell "based on ingratiation and access and nothing more," blurring the line between common political courtesy and corruption.

The bipartisan friend-of-the court brief was filed Monday in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is scheduled to hear arguments in McDonnell's case in May.

A jury in September found McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of doing favors for a nutritional supplements executive in exchange for $165,000 in gifts and loans. The former governor was sentenced to two years in prison. His wife was sentenced to one year and one day.