If President Trump fulfills expectations and pardons his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, the state of New York has a criminal case assembled that could be filed against him immediately, Bloomberg reports.
Citing two people with intimate knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported that New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is “ready to file an array of tax and other charges against Manafort,” and characterized the development as “something seen as an insurance policy should the president exercise his power to free the former aide.”
In August of last year, Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. He faces up to 24 years in prison.
Manafort, who is 69, is due to be sentenced next month in two separate criminal cases he’s since pleaded guilty to.
Trump has signaled that a pardon for Manafort is possible. In an interview with the New York Post in November of last year, Trump said that a pardon for Manafort is “not off the table.”
“It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table,” Trump said. “Why would I take it off the table?”
New York Prosecutors have been building a case against Manafort since 2017, which includes evasion of state taxes and keeping inadequate records. Specific details of the investigation remain confidential.
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.
As Bloomberg points out, Trump has already issued seven pardons, some of which include former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza.
Featured image via Alexandria Sheriff’s Office