Former campaign chair for President Donald Trump has managed to get away with not giving prosecutors any information to indict others involved in the 2016 election scandals. It has prompted many to suspect that Paul Manafort was working to score a pardon from the president, but now it appears that option is off the table thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a 7-2 ruling, the Court said that a person could be tried twice for the same crime if one is in a federal court and the other is in a state court. Trump’s justices split the decision, with Brett Kavanaugh supporting the majority and Neil Gorsuch joining with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
It puts Manafort in a difficult position, because he could be pardoned for his federal crimes, but not by his state crimes. So, even if Manafort was to be pardoned for his federal crimes, he would still ultimately spend the rest of his life in jail for any state charges he is convicted of.
“The President of the United States has the power to issue pardons for crimes against the United States,” said former New York District Attorney’s prosecutor John Moscow. “He cannot pardon people for crimes against states.”
Last year, Manafort was convicted by a federal jury in Virginia on eight out of 18 counts of bank and tax fraud. He then said he would cooperate with the Robert Mueller investigation, but was caught in doing anything but.
“It was of interest to Manafort because if he had been pardoned, the theory was and if the Supreme Court kept this going, then he could be charged separately in a state like Virginia or somewhere else for the same crimes that he had committed in the federal government but got pardoned for,” said NBC’s Pete Williams.
“So two things that have happened that have wiped that off,” he continued. “Number one, the Supreme Court didn’t change the double jeopardy rule. And Manafort has been charged with state crimes by New York. But they are violations of the New York tax law largely which he was not prosecuted for in Virginia or Washington, DC.”
Watch the full explainer below:
Is Trump is right? Is there ‘something going on’ at Fox News?
President Donald Trump denounced Fox News after the network released a poll showing him lagging behind the four current frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"Fox has changed, and my worst polls have always been from Fox. There's something going on at Fox — I'll tell you right now," Trump told reporters Sunday in New Jersey. "And I'm not happy with it."
The president went on to list which talent on the Fox News roster he was pleased with, while also suggesting that the hosts of the presidential debates could be determined by who treats him most favorably.
"Fox was treated very badly by the Democrats — very, very badly having to do with the Democrats and other things. And I think Fox is making a big mistake," Trump added. "Because you know, I'm the one who calls the shots on the really big debates. I guess we're probably planning on three of them. And I'm not happy with Fox."
Plastic snow falling in the Arctic
Plastic pollution has reached one of the most remote places on Earth: the Arctic. That is according to two separate studies released last week which found tiny plastic particles, known as microplastics, in Arctic snowfall and frozen within the sea ice.
A study by German and Swiss scientists found that snow falling in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard contained as many as 14,400 particles of plastic per litre.
They said it was likely the particles were being blown in from populated areas thousands of miles away, before being trapped in snow and falling to Earth.
He ‘knows where lots of Trump bodies are buried’: Ex-Mueller associate says president’s latest dissension spells trouble
President Donald Trump has reportedly fallen out with a decades-long friend, private equity real estate investor Tom Barrack, who is currently the focus of a federal investigation into how the money from Trump's inaugural fund was raised and spent.
On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner laid out a key reason why Trump may want to distance himself from Barrack at this point:
Televised hearings are in our future (can’t come soon enough). Tom Barrack knows where lots of Trump’s bodies are buried (figuratively speaking), inaugural committee bodies and others. Let’s hope Barrack is already quietly assisting prosecutors. https://t.co/BlgsiaX0YP