Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance appealed a December 2019 ruling throwing out a state-level prosecution of Paul Manafort, moving to revive a case that could keep the former Trump campaign chair behind bars even after a potential future Presidential pardon.
A New York state grand jury indicted Manafort on mortgage fraud charges in March 2019, with the charges being unveiled minutes after a D.C. federal judge sentenced the longtime Republican operative to seven years in prison.
Vance’s prosecution was long seen as a lever that would keep Manafort behind bars even as speculation continues that President Trump may issue a pardon for his former campaign manager.
The charges that Vance has pursued line up closely with bank fraud charges on which Manafort was convicted after an August 2018 trial in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Since that conviction and Manafort’s subsequent abortive plea deal with the special counsel, the former Trump campaign chairman’s legal team has sought to exonerate him outside of the courtroom. Last year’s Ukraine scandal, for which President Trump was impeached, revolved partly around Trump and others pressuring Kyiv to manufacture evidence that Manafort’s prosecution was based on fraudulent documents, and that he, in fact, was the victim of collusion between the DNC and the Ukrainian government.
No evidence has ever surfaced for those allegations.
A Manhattan district judge threw out Vance’s prosecution in December, finding that it violated protections against double jeopardy.
Read the appeal brief here: