After former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort got hit with a 16 felony indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, analysts on CNN explained the charges are “pardon-proof.”
If convicted of these charges, which include residential mortgage fraud and creating fake business records, Manafort’s crimes would be outside the purview President Donald Trump pardonin abilities.
“This is a way to pardon-proof the case in case… in case President Trump pardons Paul Manafort on the federal crimes he was sentenced to today,” CNN’s Kara Scannell observed while speaking on a panel after the indictment news broke this afternoon. “Now the state charges are in a different level and this is new, fresh liability that Paul Manafort faces and will also raise the question of double jeopardy because there are some overlapping crimes that were committed here and that is what we will see Manafort’s team argue in court.”
“By the move today the district attorney’s office bringing this indictment believes can move through the double jeopardy and they’re confident they can bring this case,” she added.
Cy Vance released a statement explaining “no one is beyond the law in New York” and called out Manafort’s “serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.” The indictment came days after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced, “The president has made his position on [a Manfort pardon] clear and he’ll make a decision when he’s ready.”
In the past, Trump has said a Manafort pardon has “never” been discussed while adding that he won’t “take it off the table.”
CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz also noted that “the Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been investigating this probably since charges were brought against Paul Manafort since he was investigated by the Mueller team.”
“This is a way to pardon-proof this so that if the president does pardon Paul Manafort he’s still facing a substantial amount of prison time,” he added. “This time it will be on state charges out of New York. So maybe Paul Manafort feeling some relief here today, there may be some, but he’s certainly not out of the woods yet.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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