Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted in New York on charges of mortgage fraud and 15 other state felonies. Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the indictment Wednesday as an effort to guarantee that Manafort faces prison time even if President Trump pardons his federal crimes. News of the state case comes shortly after federal judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort to 43 months in prison, in addition to a 47 month federal sentence he received last week. Manafort now faces seven and a half months in jail for tax and bank fraud and conspiracy related to cases brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
The president has authority to pardon federal crimes, but cannot do so in state cases. Vance said in a press release after the federal sentencing earlier today that the 16-count indictment implicates Manafort in a yearlong scheme of falsifying business records to obtain millions in loans. “No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said, adding that his investigations “yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
The indictment comes as a result of an investigation started in 2017, when the prosecutors in Manhattan started probing loans Manafort had received from two banks. A grand jury met last week hearing the prosecution's evidence and voted to charge Manafort with crimes including conspiracy and residential mortgage fraud. One of Manafort's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.