June 18, 2019 / 12:39 AM / a month ago

Trump ex-aide Manafort moved to Manhattan, arraignment seen near: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was transferred to a detention facility in Manhattan on Monday ahead of an expected arraignment on state charges in New York, a person familiar with the matter said.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort departs after a motions hearing in his indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Manafort, 70, was moved from a federal prison in Pennsylvania to the Metropolitan Correctional Facility, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the transfer has not been disclosed.

The move means Manafort will not be held at New York’s troubled Rikers island jail complex as are most federal inmates facing charges in the state, the New York Times said.

The paper said the decision came after Jeffrey Rosen, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, sent a letter last week to Manhattan prosecutors indicating he was monitoring where Manafort would be detained in New York.

An attorney for Manafort did not respond to a request for comment.

Manafort had been at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania since he was sentenced in March to 7-1/2 years behind bars on tax fraud, bank fraud and other charges that stemmed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

A veteran Republican political consultant, Manafort also faces New York state charges filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance alleging residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records.

Manafort will seek to dismiss the state charges on double jeopardy grounds, his lawyer told Reuters last week.

His transfer to Manhattan probably signals his arraignment in New York is near, although Manafort remains in federal custody and no arraignment date has been set, the person familiar with the matter said.

Vance’s case appears largely tied to the same conduct - applications for mortgages from Citizens Bank and the Federal Savings Bank secured by properties in New York - for which Manafort was prosecuted in federal court.

Vance’s indictment of Manafort was therefore widely seen as an effort to ensure that he serves significant prison time even if Trump pardons him. A U.S. president can issue pardons only for federal crimes.

Under New York law, a person cannot be prosecuted twice for the same act unless at least one element of the crimes is distinct and the statutes address “very different kinds of harm or evil.” However, Vance’s office could argue an exception to New York’s double jeopardy protections is warranted.

In a ruling with potential implications for the Manafort case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to limit the ability of federal and state prosecutors to separately charge people for the same underlying crime.

Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Clarence Fernandez

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