- Manhattan judge rules that Manhattan DA Cy Vance's attempt to prosecute disgraced Trump campaign chairman is invalid
- Judge Maxwell Wiley agreed with Manafort's attorneys that double jeopardy laws prevent the prosecution going ahead
- Vance had charged Manafort with mortgage fraud but Wiley ruled that he had already been convicted of 'overlapping' crime in federal court
- Manafort is serving federal sentence and not due for release until Christmas Day 2024 but is currently in hospital after a 'cardiac event'
- Ruling opens way for a presidential pardon or commutation which would free Manafort
- Until now he would have still faced jail in New York under state laws, which are not covered by presidential pardon powers
- New York lawmakers and governor Andrew Cuomo changed state's double jeopardy laws to
- Manhattan DA Cy Vance is to appeal the decision to dismiss the prosecution
Paul Manafort's state charges in New York were thrown out by a judge on Wednesday in a dramatic court victory for the former Trump campaign chairman.
He won a claim that the prosecution brought by Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance, was invalidated by 'double jeopardy' laws because it overlapped with the federal crimes of which he was convicted earlier this year.
However Manafort remains in federal custody and is not scheduled for release untilChristmasDay 2024.
But the judge's ruling opens the way forDonald Trump to set Manafort entirely free by presidential pardon or by commuting his sentence.
Previously such a move would have been futile as Manafort would have faced prison under New York state laws, which are beyond the presidential pardon power.
The Manhattan criminal court hearing went ahead without the Republican fixer as he recovers in hospital near his low-security federal prison in Pennsylvania following a 'cardiac event'.
Trump's former campaign chairman, 70, faced state charges of residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records in New York.
Case dismissed: Paul Manafort will not be prosecuted in New York because of double jeopardy laws which prevent the same case being brought twice in different courts
Legal team: Paul Manafort's attorneys enter the court in New York where they were handed his first significant legal victory since he became ensnared in the Mueller probe
Blow to prosecutor: Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance had his case against Manafort thrown out by the judge because of double jeopardy. It opens the way for a presidential pardon or commutation by Donald Trump
Manafort allegedly faked records to obtain millions of dollars in loans from December 2015 until three days before Trump was sworn in as president in January 2017.
At the hearing today, Manafort's attorney, Todd Blanche, sought to have the case dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. Manafort argued that New York's indictment is illegal as it means he was being prosecuted twice for the same crime.
Judge Maxwell Wiley agreed with Manafort's attorneys that state law precludes prosecution.
After the hearing Manafort's attorney Todd Blanche said in a statement: 'We have said since the day this indictment was made public that it was politically motivated and violated New York's statutory double jeopardy law.
'We thank Judge Wiley for his careful consideration of our motion and his thoughtful opinion dismissing the charges against Mr. Manafort.
'This indictment should never have been brought, and today's decision is a stark reminder that the law and justice should always prevail over politically-motivated actions.'
But Danny Frost, director of communications for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr, told DailyMail.com: 'We will appeal today's decision and will continue working to ensure that Mr. Manafort is held accountable for the criminal conduct against the People of New York that is alleged in the indictment.'
Charges were filed against Manafort by the State of New York soon after he was convicted in a federal courtroom in D.C..
The state of New York alleged that Manafort defrauded Citizens Bank and the Federal Savings Bank over mortgage loans on properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island that were owned by him or his family.
Those properties are a townhouse at 377 Union Street in the affluent neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and a condo at 20 Howard Street in SoHo, Manhattan.
Center of fraud claims: Manafort is already convicted of federal mortgage fraud on this 2,000 square foot SoHo, Manhattan loft.
Fraud here too: Manafort was convicted of fraud in his mortgage applications on this townhouse in upscale Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, buying it through a shell company and then using it to get cash in fraudulent mortgage applications
The fourth-floor condo in the heart of SoHo has its own elevator opening directly into the loft space which spans more than 2,000 square feet and includes a steam shower, soaking tub and wood-burning fireplace.
The pre-war Brooklyn townhouse had many of its original features and is a 4,000 square ft home spread across several floors.
According to the federal indictment against him, Manafort purchased the home in 2012 through a shell company in Cyprus where he had stashed income from his lobbying work. He paid around $3million in cash for the home.
In the same year, he used his Cyprus fund to buy the Howard Street condo, paying around $2.85million. When he applied for mortgage on the condo, Manafort falsely claimed that his daughter and son-in-law were living there when in fact he was making thousands of dollars each week by renting it out on AirBnB.
President Trump, who has spoken sympathetically of his former campaign chair, would not be able to pardon Manafort for convictions in a state jurisdiction but does have the power to commute federal crimes.
Manafort is recovering at a hospital in Pennsylvania and in a stable condition,ABC reported on Tuesday. His hospital bed is being guarded by prison officers.
The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on Manafort's health or where he was being treated.
'For safety and security and privacy reasons, we cannot provide specific information about an inmate's medical condition,' a spokesman said.
Manafort's post-conviction lawyer, Blanche,told CNBC: 'Neither his family nor I were made aware of his medical condition until after a reporter called with information they had learned about his condition, notwithstanding repeated attempts on our part to obtain information over the past several days from the Bureau of Prisons.'