DA Vance indicts Manafort on pardon-proof mortgage fraud charges

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Berman dismissed most of Manafort's claims of contrition to boost his previous sentence, in a Virginia court last week, by 43 months to 90 months, a heavy punishment for the 69-year-old veteran Republican and worldwide political consultant. Presidential pardons extend to federal, not state, crimes.

The New York Times reported that Manafort's lawyers are likely to challenge the New York indictment by arguing it constitutes double jeopardy for crimes he has already been tried for in federal court.

The former campaign chairman worked to advance the political interests of Ukranian oligarchs before joining the Trump 2016 campaign for years. "It's not something that's right now on my mind". As to the idea of a pardon, Trump said, "I have not even given it any thought as of this moment".

"It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved" in the federal conspiracy charges related to his foreign lobbying work and witness tampering.

He added, "T$3 he miscarriage of justice, as I've called it repeatedly, really occurred in the Eastern District of Virginia, not today in her courtroom". Thirty of those months will run concurrent to the four-year sentence handed down last week, meaning Manafort is slated to serve a total of 90 months in prison.

The charges include 16 counts of state felonies, which would put Manafort behind bars for up to an additional two decades if convicted.

The prosecutors say Manafort and Kilimnik met secretly during the US presidential campaign and that their encounter cuts "to the heart" of their investigation whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to help him win.

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"But for a short stint as a campaign manager in a presidential election, I don't think we'd be here today", Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing told Jackson. "More suits than one man can wear", Jackson said, referring to Manafort's previous luxuries.

The Manafort case is part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

The charges unsealed in NY on Wednesday spelled more legal trouble for Manafort.

Still, Manhattan prosecutors, who brought the new indictment, contend their case is safe because mortgage fraud and falsifying business records are state but not federal crimes. The allegations appeared to mirror some of the fraud charges in his Virginia trial.

"No one is beyond the law in New York", Mr. Vance said in a statement announcing the charges. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction and Russian Federation has denied United States intelligence findings that it interfered in the 2016 election in an effort to boost Trump. "Why would I take it off the table?"

When Downing criticized Judge Amy Berman Jackson for being "incredibly hostile" and claimed she "conceded there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in this case", protestors loudly objected.

Manafort wore a dark suit and tie to the hearing.

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