Prosecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon
Federal prosecutors on Friday said they are dropping an effort to seize three properties belonging to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after he was pardoned by former President Trump.
Prosecutors revealed in a court filing that they are discarding a 2019 preliminary forfeiture order they filed against Manafort seeking his mansion in Bridgehampton, Long Island, as well as an apartment in New York City’s Chinatown and a townhouse in Brooklyn.
“These three real properties will not be under restraint in connection with the prosecution and conviction,” the prosecutors wrote, arguing that Trump’s pardon has “relieved the Defendant of any further obligation to make payments to satisfy the $11 million monetary judgment of forfeiture.”
The prosecutors will also not move forward with seizing assets in one of Manafort’s accounts at Federal Savings Bank.
“The department has determined that due to President Trump’s full and unconditional pardon of Paul Manafort, it is necessary to dismiss the criminal forfeiture proceedings involving the four assets which were the subject of the on-going forfeiture ancillary proceedings,” a Justice Department spokesperson told The Hill.
Shortly after the prosecutors’ filing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the forfeiture litigation.
Friday’s filing does not cover properties and other assets that prosecutors had already seized and sold. Manafort has already lost an apartment in Trump Tower in New York City and a life insurance policy.
Manafort was ensnared in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, during which Manafort briefly served as then-candidate Trump’s campaign chairman.
Manafort was convicted in 2018 on bank fraud and tax charges and sentenced to more than seven years in prison. He was released to home confinement in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic before winning a December pardon from Trump.