People associated with the current president of the United States are now wishing they’d never met him. From Roger Stone to Paul Manafort, people are finding out quickly that doing business with Donald Trump will get them one place in life. Federal prison. That hasn’t stopped these weasels from trying to save their pathetic hides in any way possible.
Exhibit A: Paul Manafort. Manafort, as well as Stone, are living on a prayer that the president will pardon them of their many crimes, and up until now, a pardon has been floated as a possibility. That’s all over now, however.
According to Bloomberg:
“New York state prosecutors have put together a criminal case against Paul Manafort that they could file quickly if the former chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign receives a presidential pardon.”
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has compiled enough evidence of even more Manafort crimes, and is prepared to use that evidence against Manafort if the president tries to pardon him from the crimes of which he’s already been convicted.
The report reads:
“Manafort was convicted of eight felonies, pleaded guilty to two more and is scheduled to be sentenced next month for those federal crimes. Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller have recommended as long as 24 years, a virtual life sentence, for the 69-year-old political consultant.”
“The president, who has bemoaned Manafort’s treatment at the hands of Mueller, said in November that he has not ruled out a pardon. He has frequently talked of his broad pardon power, possibly extending even to himself, and acted to liberate two political allies previously.”
Vance’s office, as well as Manafort’s people have refused to comment on the Bloomberg report, but many on the inside say this will end very badly for the white-collar criminal.
Vance has been investigating Manafort’s crimes even before Robert Mueller brought charges against him. The crimes that Vance is investigating include evasion of taxes in New York, and violating laws that require businesses to keep accurate records.
“Much of the evidence against Manafort has emerged through Mueller’s prosecutions. But Vance’s office can’t cut and paste Mueller’s charges into a state indictment. It must avoid New York’s double jeopardy law, which provides protections for defendants even stronger than those guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”
These concerns are apparently not new, as former NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman worked last year to get NY’s double jeopardy laws adjusted to allow someone pardoned by the president to be charged. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
However, Vance believes there is still plenty of opportunity to charge Manafort without violating double jeopardy laws. As the report states, “New York law allows defendants who have already been convicted of evading federal taxes to be charged with the same conduct as it applies to state taxes. As a part-time resident of New York, Manafort has some exposure.”
“While Mueller charged bank fraud based on this conduct, Vance could hit Manafort with state charges of falsifying books and records, according to one of the people.”
Attorney John Moscow has been putting away money launderers in NY for quite some time. He had this to say about what Vance is doing:
“My suggestion is to change the double jeopardy statute in New York to permit prosecutions with this kind of conduct in mind. As interpreted, the statute is too broad and needs to be rethought.”