WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court today made it harder to convict someone of giving an illegal gratuity to a federal official, ruling in a case that stemmed from the corruption investigation of former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.

The court ruled unanimously that people cannot be convicted of giving an illegal gratuity unless prosecutors prove the gift was linked to an official act. It is not enough to show that someone wanted to curry favor because an official was in a position to help them, the court said.

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