Paul Manafort Pleads Not Guilty To NY Charges

NEW YORK — Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s disgraced former campaign chairman, pleaded not guilty to a slate of New York state charges Thursday. Manafort entered the plea in Manhattan Criminal Court about three months after his indictment was announced in March, minutes after his second federal sentencing.

Manafort appeared in the courthouse in handcuffs and a blue jumpsuit, his once brown hair turned gray. He’s currently serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has accused Manafort of falsifying business records to rake in millions of dollars illegally through a yearlong scheme. Manafort’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, reportedly said he will move to have the charges dismissed, pointing to the state’s protections against double jeopardy.

Blanche said he thinks “the laws of New York do not allow the people to do what they did in this case,” the Associated Press reported.

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If Vance’s case against Manafort moves forward, it could mean that he may face prison time even if Trump pardons him of his federal crimes.

Manafort, 70, is due back in court Oct. 9. He will stay in a federal lockup while he awaits trial on the 16 state charges, which include mortgage fraud, conspiracy and other crimes, court records show. That means he’ll avoid a stay in Rikers Island, New York City’s notoriously violent jail complex.

The Manhattan indictment accuses Manafort of submitting false and misleading information to get mortgages for residential properties. He committed the alleged crimes from late 2015 to just before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, according to the indictment.

The case involves Manafort’s two New York City properties that also came up in his federal trial: A condominium on Henry Street in SoHo and a brownstone on Union Street in Carroll Gardens.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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