05222019What's Hot:

Manafort hit with mortgage fraud charges in New York

The latest indictment charges Manafort with 16 counts of mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and other crimes in connection with loans he sought or obtained on properties owned by him and his family. | Keith Lane/Getty Images

Legal

Updated

Paul Manafort was hit with yet another indictment on Wednesday, just minutes after the former Trump campaign chairman received his second prison sentence in a case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The latest indictment, which came from a grand jury in New York City, charges Manafort with 16 counts of mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and other crimes in connection with loans he sought or obtained on properties owned by him and his family.

Story Continued Below

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the indictment addresses “state criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests.”

At least some of the state charges appear to stem from evidence introduced last August by Muller’s team at Manafort’s federal trial in Virginia on various financial fraud charges. The jury there convicted him on two bank fraud counts, but deadlocked on seven others.

Vance said the new indictment involves “serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”

true

A state law barring retrials on charges tried in federal court could pose a legal obstacle to the new prosecution. New York legislators have struck a deal to amend that law, but the new legislation has not passed. Legal experts have also said it may be unconstitutional to apply that law to past acts by Manafort.

“New York State law goes way beyond the double jeopardy protections under the U.S. Constitution and prohibits state prosecutors from trying defendants based on the same act or criminal transaction as a prior federal prosecution,” said Duncan Levin, a former New York state and federal prosecutor now with law firm Tucker Levin.

Still, Levin added, “given the way the DA’s office has carefully laid out the charges … I don’t think they will be insurmountable problems for the prosecution in the Manafort state case.”

The new state charges were announced on the same day a judge in Washington extended Manafort’s federal prison sentence to seven-and-a-half years. The case also serves as a reminder that President Donald Trump’s ability to grant Manafort a pardon or commutation for his federal crimes will not protect him from state charges.

Trump on Wednesday afternoon said he had not heard about the latest developments.

“I don’t know anything about it,” he told reporters. “I’ll take a look at it.”

This article tagged under:

Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning — in your inbox.

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic