A judge on Wednesday dismissed New York state criminal charges filed against Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, in Manhattan. Judge Maxwell Wiley said the charges violated the legal principle of double jeopardy, which protects the defendant for being prosecuted twice for the same criminal charge. The former Republican lobbyist was facing mortgage fraud charges and more than a dozen other state felonies. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. brought the state charges against Manafort—a total of 16 felonies—in March 2019 shortly after he was sentenced in federal court for finance crimes such as conspiracy, tax, and bank fraud. The charges would have ensured that Manafort remains behind bars even if President Trump pardons him, which he has the power to do for federal crimes but not state offenses. If Trump decides to pardon him, Manafort will be freed from the Pennsylvania prison where he is serving his seven-and-a-half-year term.
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