Court Battles

Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges to NY high court

The Manhattan District Attorney's office on Wednesday announced that it is appealing to New York's highest court a ruling dismissing charges against Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump's 2016 campaign.

Manafort was charged in New York state court in March 2019 with residential mortgage fraud and related offenses. In December 2019, a state judge threw out the charges, ruling they overlapped with bank fraud charges that Manafort had faced in federal court. A New York appeals court affirmed the judge's ruling last month.

The DA's office is now appealing the matter to the top court in the state, the New York Court of Appeals, according to a court filing dated Tuesday.

The move to appeal the dismissal of the charges comes as Trump is set to leave office in January, and could potentially issue a number of pardons before his term ends. Presidents can pardon or commute the sentences of those who have been convicted of federal offenses, but not state offenses.

A federal jury in Virginia convicted Manafort in 2018 of bank fraud and tax fraud charges in a case brought by former special counsel Robert Mueller. Prior to the start of a separate federal trial in Washington, D.C., Manfort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy against the United States and witness tampering.

Manafort had been sentenced to more than seven years in prison, but in May he was released from prison to home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.