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Manhattan DA still wants to prosecute ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort

Prosecutors have appealed a judge's decision to toss state mortgage fraud charges against Trump's former campaign chair.
Image: Paul Manafort arrives to his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on June 27, 2019.
Paul Manafort arrives to his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on June 27, 2019.Yana Paskova / Getty Images file

New York state prosecutors argued in court filings Thursday that fraud charges against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort should be reinstated.

In March 2019, the Manhattan DA's office indicted Manafort for allegedly falsifying business records to obtain millions of dollars in residential mortgage loans.

But in December, a state judge tossed the charges, calling them a violation of New York's double jeopardy law, because Manafort had already been federally indicted earlier in 2019 for related crimes uncovered by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Thursday, the DA's office appealed the decision, arguing the charges brought at the state level center on different elements of the crimes that were prosecuted at the federal level.

The DA's filing says the charges "contain different elements and were designed to prevent very different kinds of harm than the federal offenses of Bank Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud."

Manafort was convicted in March 2019 in two federal court cases for conspiracy, tax and bank fraud charges. Both cases came out of Mueller's investigation. The Manhattan DA's case was first announced less than an hour after Manafort received his sentence in the second federal case.

The state charges were seen by some legal experts as a way to hold Manafort accountable for his crimes should Trump decide to negate his federal convictions via pardon.

The longtime GOP operative is currently serving a seven-and-a-half year prison sentence after a jury convicted him in one federal case and he pleaded guilty in the other. He was transferred from prison to home confinement in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manafort's lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.