New York Prosecutors Just Threw A Wrench In Trump’s Potential Plans to Pardon Paul Manafort
Trump’s former campaign chairman could face up to 25 years in state prison on the new charges. And Trump can’t pardon these crimes.
Moments after being sentenced to an additional 43 months in federal prison Wednesday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted by the New York District Attorney’s Office on more than a dozen state charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.
Charges in New York will serve as a sort-of insurance policy against any plans by Trump to pardon Manafort
According to state prosecutors, Manafort engaged in a year-long fraud scheme in which he and others falsified business records to illegally obtain loans worth millions of dollars.
The grand jury hearing evidence in the case voted last week to indict him on three counts of mortgage fraud, one count of attempted mortgage fraud, three counts of conspiracy, eight counts of falsifying business records, and one count of scheme to defraud.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement Wednesday, adding that the state’s investigation “yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
Trump has also defended Manafort… referring to him as a “brave man” and praising him for not cooperating with prosecutors.
Importantly, the charges in New York will serve as a sort-of insurance policy against any plans by Trump to pardon Manafort now that he has been sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in federal prison in two separate cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
While Trump has not yet said if he intends to pardon Manafort, he has repeatedly suggested that he may do so. Trump has also defended Manafort on a number of occasions, referring to him as a “brave man” and praising him for not cooperating with prosecutors.
The state charges against Manafort are designed so they won’t overlap with any of his federal charges — and although Trump has broad authority to issue pardons for federal crimes, his pardon power is useless against state crimes.
The state charges are related to those in the federal indictment that led to his initial conviction — charges to which Manafort pleaded guilty. His guilty plea will now be admissible in the New York case, giving prosecutors an overwhelmingly strong case against him.
According to The New York Times, Manafort could face up to 25 years behind bars if he is convicted of the most serious charges in the new indictment.
And, as Bloomberg News noted, if Manafort is convicted in New York, he would “face confinement in notoriously tough prisons.”