The New York State Supreme Court has rejected an attempt by the Manhattan District Attorney to prosecute Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman of Donald Trump.
The Court of Appeal ruling ended attempts by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to bring Manafort to justice for serious crimes, including mortgage fraud. Manafort was convicted by a federal court in Virginia for similar crimes, and pardoned by Donald Trump.
Vance tried to appeal against a mid-state court ruling that ruled that Paul Manafort could not be prosecuted again for the same crime or it would be a violation of state law.
A spokesman for Vance on Monday declined to comment on the Court of Appeal ruling.
Manafort’s lawyer Todd Blanche said he was pleased with the decision.
“This is a case that should never have been brought up because it is a clear violation of New York City law,” he said.
Vance brought the charges against Paul Manafort in March 2019, less than an hour after a federal judge sentenced the former Trump campaign chief to 7.5 years in prison.
The case against Paul Manafort comes from an investigation by former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Trump pardoned Manafort on December 23, seven months after he was released under house arrest. His lawyers said their client faced health risks, including due to possible infection with the coronavirus in prison.