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Prosecutors looking to reinstate indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for mortgage fraud

The case was initially dismissed due to its similarity to the federal charges

August 20, 2020, 2:08 PM

The Manhattan District Attorney's office fought Thursday to reinstate the indictment against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to court documents filed in the case.

Manafort had been charged in New York for allegedly conducting a yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme before the case was dismissed in December due to its similarity to earlier federal charges.

The Manhattan DA's office argued, according to court filings, that the state's double jeopardy law contains an exception that would allow the case to proceed.

"[The statute] permits a successive prosecution where the offenses in the second prosecution contain different elements and the defining statutes were designed to prevent very different kinds of harm or evil than the offenses in the first prosecution," the court document states.

In the case against Manafort, the district attorney's filing said the "defendant overlooks the distinct harms that the federal and state offenses were designed to target."

PHOTO: Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at US District Court on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at US District Court on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Manafort, 71, had been sentenced to more than seven years for charges related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in a federal correctional institution in central Pennsylvania. He was found guilty of tax fraud and conspiracy and was sentenced by a federal judge in March 2019.

He was released from prison in May to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement because of concerns over the novel coronavirus, two sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Manafort was just one of several associates of President Trump's that were charged for crimes as part of the nearly two-year investigation led by Mueller. So far, Manafort was the only one to spend a significant period in jail.

Manafort's longtime partner and former Trump deputy campaign manager Rick Gates pleaded guilty and cooperated with federal prosecutors in the case against Manafort in 2018.

Recently, Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political adviser Roger Stone who also faced a series of charges born from the Mueller probe.

Stone and Manafort were also longtime partners in a political consulting firm.

ABC News' Katherine Faulders and John Santucci contributed to this report.

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