New York Court Dismisses State Charges Against Manafort

I previously wrote about what I viewed as a dangerous trend among New York Democratic politicians pledging to charge former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort under state law to negate any benefit from a federal pardon by President Donald Trump. Democrats rallied supporters to the dubious cause of watering down the state protections against double jeopardy. It was the ultimate example of the mania surrounding Trump where citizens would take an axe to their own constitutional protections to get at Trump and his associates. The highly dubious effort was led by New York state attorney general Letitia James and, thankfully, it has failed. The New York courts are not nearly as dismissive of individual rights. The state charges were thrown out today on the basis of double jeopardy. The question is now whether this will be a prelude to a presidential pardon.

Manafort is serving until Christmas day 2024. However, his recent medical emergency (combined with this ruling) could lay the foundation for a pardon or commutation to secure his early release.

Manafort, 70, faced state charges of residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records under state law — charges that overlapped with his federal prosecution.

I have been highly critical of Manafort and I still have little sympathy for him. I do not view him as a worthy subject of a pardon. However, I am relieved that the courts showed more judgment and respect for individual rights than James and others who wanted to lower protections to score political points in prosecuting a Trump associate.

33 thoughts on “New York Court Dismisses State Charges Against Manafort”

  1. They also intended to do this agaisnt President Trump once he leaves office. Their miserable tactics failed here and will fail again and again elsewhere.

    Now President Trump should commute Manafort’s sentence to time served.

  2. Letitia James does not have a racist bone in her body.

    Congress does not have a racist bone in its body.

    And guilt-ridden liberals are justified in their milquetoast surrender.

    Nations are created at great effort only to be gifted to mortal enemies on a silver platter, not defended, preserved and perpetuated.

    Everyone agrees.

    Americans bad.

    Illegal alien, foreign invader hyphenates good.

    Givin’ it all away.

    You go, Comrades!

    We gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin, 1787

    We gave you “…a republic, if you can take it back.”

    – Ben Franklin, 2019

  3. NY stinks. It is not due to Manafart. Each Man A Fart on Earth has the right to remain non stinky.

  4. It’s a form of terrorism so use the Patriot Act and the provisions for handling terrorism and that will ensure at least those flys are suitably swatted and will never bother our picnic again.

  5. “It was the ultimate example of the mania surrounding Trump where citizens would take an axe to their own constitutional protections to get at Trump and his associates.”

    This sums the current Democratic Party up nicely. It also foreshadows what will happen if Democrats take the White House and sweep congress.

    Where are the Democrat moderates?

    Vote responsibly.

  6. Had these charges being brought when the entire issue first came up years ago, I have said the hell with a pardon. But the only reason Manafort went down was because he was with Trump. That’s no way to run a justice system, and this is a man who deserves a pardon. He’s paying the price because somebody hated Trump, not because of his own misdeeds, as wrong as they might be

  7. Wow. In law school eons ago we were taught that robbing a mail truck was prosecutable both as a federal and a state crime. I wonder when/where that got changed. And, of course, no mention of Trump anywhere requires a mandatory whining about Obama and Clinton. We were also taught that someone else having committed the same crime was never a viable defense to a present crime, and I guess that’s old school also.

    1. The states can have stronger double jeopardy laws than the feds. And many of them do.

      Regardless of how one feels about Manafort or Trump, the only reason this was tried was to show a “good faith” effort by the pols in New York to make it look like they were trying to avoid a Presidential pardon of Manafort.

      Not exactly an ethical motivation or demonstration of integrity regarding the law. Just more Trump mania on full and embarrassing display.

    2. Prosecuting both is not the same as double jeopordy if their is only one trial. Far better than no trial as Pelosi, Feinstein and Schiff would have it

    3. It’s perfectly fine as a matter of US Constitutional law. NY state has additional statutory DJ protections that are more expansive than Federal DJ.

  8. Rapists have spent less time is jail than Manafort. I do not like him, but I think he deserves a pardon. I am basing this on the people that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama pardoned.

  9. Where is the disciplinary action against the lawyers who filed such a frivolous case by the judge and the A.B.A.? You don’t need to pass the bar to know about double jeopardy.

    Of course, the general community of lawyers has never met an extra and unnecessary case it didn’t like. So pats on the back are in order instead.

  10. I believe no matter who breaks the laws, whether it be federal or state law, they deserve to serve the time as sentenced. Manafort should not be pardoned. That is my strong belief even though I support our President. I also believe the decision discussed here is the correct one.

    1. It doesn’t matter to you if the government illegally targets a citizen for prosecution? You would fit in well in Stalin´s Soviet Union.

        1. Phyllis Rogers – I find it interesting that Manafort’s partner Podesta did not go to jail or even get arrest. I am not sure he was questioned.

  11. Again, the bill of particulars in re Manafort included tax charges the Department of Justice had taken a pass on and some sketchy money-laundering charges which were derived from supposed FARA violations which are hardly ever prosecuted. It’s a reasonable inference he was prosecuted in an effort to get him to offer perjured testimony for the use of characters like Andrew Weissman, and to dissuade anyone from working for Trump. Manafort has long been an exemplar of lucrative careers built on influence-peddling, but it would be proper in this case to commute his sentence as part of an effort to dissuade law firms from having anything to do with a real villain, Andrew Weissman.

  12. Your statement about Democrats willingness to “take an axe to their own constitutional protections” is why so many of us are petrified about Democrats gaining political power. They have shown that they will ignore: the Constitution, American juris prudence, oaths made to FISA courts, political agreements they’ve signed about protecting govt emails, etc. And President Trump should pardon Manafort until Tony Podesta and is convicted…but because Democrats control NY you will never see that happen. Targeted prosecutions based on political bias are contemptible and unethical (reference Lois Lerner)

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