NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state’s highest court docket has rejected the Manhattan district lawyer’s effort to prosecute Paul Manafort, the onetime marketing campaign chairman for former President Donald Trump.
The determination by the Court of Appeals ends Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s try to pursue Manafort on 16 felony fees, together with mortgage fraud, that had been just like crimes for which Manafort had been convicted in federal court docket and pardoned by Trump.
Vance had been interesting a 4-0 ruling in October by an intermediate-level state appeals court docket that prosecuting Manafort violated state double jeopardy legal guidelines, or attempting somebody twice for a similar conduct.
A spokesman for Vance on Monday declined to touch upon the Court of Appeals’ Feb. 4 order, which let stand the indictment’s dismissal.
Manafort’s lawyer Todd Blanche mentioned he was happy.
“This is a case that should never have been brought because the dismissed indictment is a clear violation of New York law,” he mentioned.
Manafort labored on Trump’s White House marketing campaign for 5 months in 2016.
Vance introduced Manafort’s indictment in March 2019, lower than an hour after a choose sentenced Manafort to 7-1/2 years in jail on federal tax evasion and financial institution fraud fees.
The federal case stemmed from former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump pardoned Manafort on Dec. 23, seven months after he was launched to dwelling confinement.
Manafort’s attorneys had mentioned he confronted well being dangers, together with from presumably contracting the coronavirus, in jail.
U.S. presidents can’t pardon individuals for state crimes.
Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser pardoned after being charged by federal prosecutors with defrauding donors in a border wall mission, is being investigated by Vance over his position in that mission, The New York Times reported this month.
Bannon had pleaded not responsible within the federal case, however double jeopardy could not apply as a result of he was by no means tried.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney and Bill Berkrot
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