NY Prosecutors Have Prepared Charges Against Manafort If Trump Pardons Him

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.Screengrab/Fox News/YouTube

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is prepared to file state charges against Paul Manafort in the event of a pardon.

Should President Donald Trump decide to pardon Paul Manafort, prosecutors in New York are prepared to file state charges against the president’s former campaign chairman, which a presidential pardon would not cover.

Bloomberg News reported on Friday that New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has prepared tax-related and other charges, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Manafort faces up to 24 years, should the judge agree with the recommendation from special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors, which at the age of 69 would be a virtual life sentence.

The Trump associate was convicted on eight felony charges and pleaded guilty to another two. Manafort is slated for sentencing in March, Bloomberg said.

Vance, who began investigating Manafort in 2017 and prior to Mueller’s charges against him, is preparing numerous charges, reportedly including “evasion of New York taxes and violations of state laws requiring companies to keep accurate books and records”.

The district attorney will have to take care not to trigger the state’s double jeopardy law, meaning Vance cannot merely copy the charges Mueller brought, but his office has reportedly homed in on several areas where there is no conflict with Manafort’s federal charges.

Trump has not yet stated that he plans to pardon Manafort, but he has hinted that the move is on his radar and said he has not ruled out the possibility.

So far, the president has issued seven pardons, Bloomberg noted, with several going to staunch political allies such as Dinesh D’Souza and former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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