Prosecutors say New York Manafort case isn’t double jeopardy


FILE – In this June 27, 2019 file photo, Paul Manafort arrives in a New York court. President Trump’s former campaign manager is to be arraigned on state mortgage fraud charges. Manafort’s lawyers filed court papers late Wednesday, Sept. 5, that seek to have his New York mortgage fraud case dismissed, arguing the charges filed in the wake of his federal convictions amount to double jeopardy. The state case involves the same alleged conduct as federal cases that landed him behind bars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — State prosecutors in New York City asked a judge Wednesday to reject claims by the defense team for twice-convicted Paul Manafort that their mortgage fraud case is double jeopardy.

In court papers filed in Manhattan, the prosecutors said that the case against the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump is based on allegations that were never resolved in a 2018 federal trial in Virginia. Jurors found Manafort guilty of eight counts of tax- and bank-fraud charges but couldn’t reach a verdict on 10 other charges, resulting in a mistrial on those counts.

“Declaration of a mistrial because of a deadlocked jury is precisely the type of situation where New York courts allow a second prosecution for the same underlying conduct,” prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Manafort spoke briefly to a judge on the matter at sidebar Wednesday without making arguments in open court. Manafort wasn’t there, but the judge ordered him to attend the next pretrial hearing on Dec. 18. No trial date has been set.

The 70-year-old Manafort has pleaded not guilty to state charges that could keep him behind bars even if the Republican president pardons him for the federal crimes uncovered during the probe of Russian election meddling. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced the charges in March, just minutes after Manafort was sentenced in the second of the two federal cases, saying in a statement at the time: “No one is beyond the law in New York.”

Manafort’s federal cases were byproducts of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian influence on the 2016 election, but a judge who presided over one of them made clear that they had nothing to do with Russian election interference, but rather Manafort’s years of “gaming the system.”

The 16-count New York indictment alleges Manafort gave false and misleading information in applying for residential mortgage loans, starting in 2015 and continuing until three days before Trump’s inauguration in 2017. He is also charged with falsifying business records and conspiracy.

Manafort is currently serving a 7½-year sentence in a Pennsylvania lockup.

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