Manafort to be arraigned Thursday in NYC on state charges

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 14:58:07-04

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be arraigned Thursday afternoon in New York City on state fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

He plans to plead not guilty and to fight the charges on the state’s double jeopardy grounds, according to his defense lawyer, Todd Blanche.

Manafort is currently in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, a federal prison.

The arraignment places him in the public eye again after his case drew enormous attention during the special counsel’s office probe. During the Russia investigation, Manafort was among the first people charged with crimes and he became a top target for prosecutors.

After his conviction by a jury last summer in that investigation, he pleaded guilty and agreed to help special counsel Robert Mueller, only to then lie to investigators and a grand jury, a federal judge ruled, prompting the end of Manafort’s cooperation.

He was sentenced in March to seven-and-a-half years in prison for federal tax fraud, bank fraud and foreign lobbying violations.

Less than an hour later, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced a 16-count criminal indictment charging Manafort with state crimes, including residential mortgage fraud and falsifying business records.

The charges relate to mortgages Manafort received on properties in the New York area at a time when his foreign lobbying business was drying up. The state charges involve some of the same bank loans that led to his conviction by the federal jury last summer.

If convicted in New York state, Manafort would be out of reach of a federal pardon. The President’s pardon power applies only to federal crimes, such as the ones Manafort is currently in prison for.

He’s been behind bars since last June, when a federal judge determined he had broken his bail by attempting to contact witnesses in his case. Manafort was held at regional jails in Virginia, largely separated from other inmates for his own safety. His health declined, with a gout-like condition setting in that led him to use a wheelchair or a cane at court appearances.

Following his sentencings in March, Manafort moved to a prison in Western Pennsylvania, then was transferred to the federal prison facility in Manhattan where he has awaited his arraignment.

This story has been updated.