Ukraine

TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday morning are confirmed dead, official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06:  Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a bail hearing November 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Manafort and his former business partner Richard Gates both pleaded not guilty Monday to a 12-charge indictment that included money laundering and conspiracy.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 19: Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Addresses the crowd at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on December 19, 2019 in Palm Beach, Florida. Conservative high school students gathered for a 4-day invite-only conference hosted by Turning Point USA to hear from conservative leaders and activists from across the U.S.(Photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images)
My Dinner With Andrii

Among the already surreal cast of characters unleashed on all our brains by the Ukraine scandal, there’s one particularly weird individual.

I used to meet with him in Kyiv.
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TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 04:  A rocket from a shoulder fired Javelin portable anti-tank weapon is launched during an Army fire power demonstration at Range Control, High Range on September 4, 2009 in Townsville, Australia. The demonstration, especially of the high range weapons, is intended to demonstrate the level and effect of firepower available to the soldiers of 3rd Brigade should they be deployed on operations requiring such.  (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2018/05/23: Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani caught allegedly giving the finger to a crowd booing him - Hundreds of New Yorkers joined members of Rise and Resist to protest Donald Trump's visit to New York City  outside the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, where he's expected to participate in a roundtable on immigration and then attend dinner with supporters. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)
What His Double Jeopardy Victory Means For Paul Manafort’s Pardon Chances
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06:  Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a bail hearing November 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Manafort and his former business partner Richard Gates both pleaded not guilty Monday to a 12-charge indictment that included money laundering and conspiracy.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed a criminal case against Paul Manafort, halting a prosecution that was widely seen as a form of insurance against a possible presidential pardon for the former Trump campaign manager.

While the Manhattan district attorney plans on appealing the decision, the ruling means Manafort could go free immediately should he be pardoned.

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, arriving to his arraignment in New York County Criminal Court, plead not guilty to state mortgage fraud charges on June 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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