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Paul Manafort won’t face charges in New York after Trump pardon, court rules

Paul Manafort won’t face charges in New York after Trump pardon, court rules

New York prosecutors lost their chance to further argue an appeal and pursue charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort after he was

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New York prosecutors lost their chance to further argue an appeal and pursue charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort after he was pardoned in a related federal case during Trump’s last weeks in office.

State judges ruled in October that the charges pursued by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance violated state laws regarding double jeopardy. Vance’s office appealed but the New York State Court of Appeals last week declined to review the lower court ruling.

The order, provided by Manafort’s attorney to NBC News on Monday and signed last Thursday by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, comes weeks after then-President Donald Trump pardoned his longtime ally.

A spokesperson for Vance’s office declined to comment.

Manafort was charged in New York in connection with a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme in 2019, according to court documents. The 69-year-old longtime GOP operative is accused of falsifying business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars as part of the yearlong mortgage fraud scam.

Manafort had also been sentenced to 47 months in 2019 on federal fraud and tax charges in 2019 in a case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump in December pardoned Manafort from his federal charge, one of more than 100 acts of clemency Trump granted before leaving office.

“As we have said from the time the District Attorney announced charges against Mr. Manafort, this is a case that should never have been brought because the dismissed indictment is a clear violation of New York law,” Manafort’s attorney, Todd Blanche says in a statement. “As the trial court held, and the Appellate Division affirmed, the People’s arguments ‘fall far short’ of triggering an exception to double jeopardy that would justify this prosecution.”

He added, “We are pleased that the New York Court of Appeals saw no reason to give leave to the District Attorney to appeal the well-reasoned prior decision dismissing the indictment and the Appellate Division’s opinion affirming the same.”

Manafort faced a sentence of eight to 25 years if convicted in the state case.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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