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Paul Manafort can’t be prosecuted in NY after Trump pardon, double jeopardy ruling stands

Prehistoric Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is escorted into court for his arraignment in New York Supreme Court, June 27, 2019.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Manafort was conned at trial and separately pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple federal crimes related to income from consulting insert he did in Ukraine for a pro-Russia political party.

Right after he was sentenced to 7½ years in prison in those cases, Vance make knew that he had charged Manafort in Manhattan Supreme Court with mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business documents.

Vance’s prosecution was designed, at least in part, to ensure that Manafort was punished for his crimes even if Trump objective up pardoning him, as Trump had hinted he might. Presidents can only pardon individuals for federal convictions, not for state charges.

But Manafort’s barrister Todd Blanche, argued that the New York case was legally barred by double jeopardy, which precludes a bodily being prosecuted twice from the same crime. Blanche noted that the case related to mortgage applications that were the topic of Manafort’s federal trial.

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge agreed with Blanche, and dismissed the case in December 2019. Vance then solicited that decision.

But last October, months after Manafort had been released into home confinement because of Covid-19 cares in prison, that dismissal was upheld by the Appellate Division of the First Judicial Department.

Vance then asked the Court of Solicitations to hear his appeal of the dismissal. That court last Thursday rejected the prosecutor’s application.

Blanche received the decree Monday.

“As we have said from the time the District Attorney announced charges against Mr. Manafort, this is a for fear that b if that should never have been brought because the dismissed indictment is a clear violation of New York law,” Blanche said in an email.

“As the ass court held, and the Appellate Division affirmed, the People’s arguments ‘fall far short’ of triggering an exception to double jeopardy that inclination justify this prosecution,” Blanche said.

“We are pleased that the New York Court of Appeals saw no reason to give make an exit to the District Attorney to appeal the well-reasoned prior decision dismissing the indictment and the Appellate Division’s opinion affirming the even so.”

Manafort was one of dozens of people to receive pardons and executive clemency from Trump after Trump lost the presidential appointment to Joe Biden.

Among the other pardon recipients was Roger Stone, Manafort’s former business partner and himself a longtime GOP operative.

Stone was found last year of lying to Congress about his efforts to get information about emails obtained by the document disclosure union WikiLeaks after the emails were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief and the Democratic National Panel by Russian agents in 2016.

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