Former chairman of the Trump 2016 campaign, Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to mortgage fraud and other criminal charges filed by New York state authorities, on June 27. His lawyer said he intends to challenge New York courts under their strong double jeopardy protection.
The longtime influential is already serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence in federal prison for misleading the U.S. government about foreign lobbying, encouraging witnesses to lie, and tax fraud.
None of those crimes are said to be related with the 2016 Trump campaign.
Indictments brought against former Trump campaign manager Manafort (mortgage fraud) and Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos (lying to federal agents) were not the results of the special counsel investigation into Russian collusion or obstruction of justice.
Manafort’s lawyer warned he will seek dismissal of state mortgage fraud charges, according to The Associated Press.
Manafort walked with a limp as court officers led him down a public hallway to the courtroom. He wore a blue jail uniform.
Defense lawyer Todd Blanche said it’s his view that “the laws of New York do not allow the people to do what they did in this case.”
However, New York prosecutors said their case is solid because it involves state, not federal crimes.
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