Following the Boy Scouts’ “Be prepared” motto, New York state prosecutors have put together a criminal case against Paul Manafort that they could file quickly if President Trump pardoned his former campaign manager.
Cyrus Vance Jr., the New York County district attorney, is ready to file an array of tax and other charges against Manafort, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The plan is something seen as an insurance policy if the president exercises his power to free the former aide.
Skirting laws that protect defendants from being charged twice for the same offenses has been one of Vance’s challenges.
Manafort was convicted of eight felonies, pleaded guilty to two more and is scheduled to be sentenced in March for those federal crimes.
Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller have recommended as long as 24 years, a virtual life sentence, for the 69-year-old political consultant.
Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager from March 29 until Aug. 8, 2016.
Prosecutors in Vance’s office began investigation of Manafort in 2017, months before Mueller charged him with conspiracy, failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts and failure to register as an agent of a foreign country, activities stemming from his earlier work for Ukraine.
Mueller’s team followed up with more charges of bank fraud, filing false tax returns and failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts in early 2018.
The president, who has bemoaned Manafort’s treatment at the hands of Mueller, said in November 2018 that he has not ruled out a pardon.
He frequently talks of his broad pardon power, possibly even extending to himself, and acted to liberate two political allies previously.
Prosecutors in Vance’s office began investigating Manafort in 2017, months before Mueller charged him with conspiracy, failure to file reports of foreign bank accounts and failure to register as an agent of a foreign country, activities stemming from his earlier work for Ukraine.
Vance’s office has identified several areas where it believes Manafort can be charged with state offenses without triggering double jeopardy protections.
In essence, savvy prosecutors are trying to plan ahead for any eventuality in order to be sure to send Manafort to prison.