New York judge throws out state fraud charges against Manafort

– In this June 27, 2019 file photo, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives in a New York court. Manafort has been hospitalized during his federal prison sentence. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter who couldn’t discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed state mortgage fraud charges against Paul Manafort on double-jeopardy grounds, saying the allegations against President Trump’s former campaign chairman were too similar to federal charges that already sent him to federal prison.

The office of Manhattan’s Democratic district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., said it planned to appeal. Manafort, 70, did not attend the hearing because of health problems.

Vance’s state case against Manafort has been interpreted as an attempt to make sure he would be held accountable for his crimes even if Trump pardons him for his federal convictions.

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche said Vance should never have pursued the case because the overlap in the federal and state cases “is extensive — if not total.”

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