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New Manafort charges could spur double jeopardy fix in New York

Posted at 12:31 AM, Mar 14, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers may soon vote to ensure that anyone pardoned by President Donald Trump may still face charges in state court.

The change, proposed by Democratic state Attorney General Tish James, aims to fix an unintended loophole in the state's double jeopardy law. Prosecutors have warned the loophole could allow defendants with a presidential pardon to argue they can't be charged with similar state crimes.

The push took on new significance Wednesday when New York City prosecutors announced state charges against ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has already been convicted of federal crimes. Trump critics say the state's case is needed in case Trump pardons Manafort.

While no vote has been scheduled, James says she expects the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly to approve the change in coming weeks.