New York Prosecutors Will Charge Manafort In Bid To Prevent Trump Pardon

New York Prosecutors Will Charge Manafort In Bid To Prevent Trump Pardon

New York Prosecutors Will Charge Manafort In Bid To Prevent Trump Pardon

The likelihood that former Trump campaign chairman and convicted felon Paul Manafort, 69, will spend the rest of his days in prison increased on Friday, as it was revealed that NY state prosecutors have built a criminal case against him in the event that the president attempts to grant him a pardon for federal crimes.

The Manafort interviews have been considered a key part of Mueller's investigation into Russian Federation and the 2016 presidential election, and with new reports that the probe is about to wrap up could be a key piece of information to come out before the special counsel files his final report.

Manafort was convicted on eight financial-related charges in a Virginia federal court in August, then pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy against the U.S. witness tampering in September. He's scheduled to be sentenced next month for those federal crimes. The president has not explicitly said he would pardon Manafort but has been supportive and complimentary toward his former campaign chair.

Bloomberg has similar reporting, but sources told the Times that while the state-level charges could be used to ensure that Manafort faces jail time even if Trump pardons him, D.A. Cyrus Vance planning to file them either way.

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The key here is that Vance is well aware that he needs to avoid putting Manafort in double jeopardy.

NY state prosecutors launching a case against Manafort would fit with a broader shift in the investigations into Trump and his allies.

If state prosecutors in NY bring charges against Manafort, however, it would provide a bulwark against a pardon. Already, Southern District of NY federal prosecutors are looking into potential illegal contributions and fraud related to Trump's campaign, and they're reportedly investigating Trump Organization executives. Each count carries a maximum of five years in prison.

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