President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was led shuffling into a Manhattan courtroom Thursday before a drove of reporters and bystanders, including a person who shouted “traitor.”
Manafort was back in court — in prison garb with his hands shackled to a belt around his waist — to face a new string of 16 felony charges including mortgage fraud and falsifying business records.
It was the first time he has been seen in public since his last sentencing in March. He is already serving more than seven years in prison for a variety of federal charges, including tax and bank fraud, and for hiding his foreign lobbying connections.
Manafort was one of the first of the members of the Trump presidential campaign indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump’s Justice Department intervened earlier this month to block Manafort’s transfer to New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex to more comfortable quarters, The New York Times reported.
Manafort pleaded not guilty in his appearance Thursday in New York State Supreme Court to the charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Even if Trump pardons his former campaign chairman on federal charges, any state convictions will remain. His attorneys are arguing that the charges mirror earlier convictions, amounting to a violation of double jeopardy protections.
“We will soon move to dismiss the indictment based upon New York double jeopardy,” his lawyer Todd Blanche told reporters outside court. “In our view, the law of New York does not allow the people to do what they did in this case.”
A crowd of onlookers and the press lined the corridors in the courthouse as the 70-year-old prisoner, whose hair is now gray, was escorted past them. Check it out in the video above.
Manafort is due back in court in early October.