June 27 (UPI) -- Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty Thursday to state fraud charges in a Manhattan court.
He faces 16 felony fraud counts for allegedly carrying out a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud plot.
Manafort, 70, appeared in the Manhattan court where Judge Maxwell Wiley ruled he must await the start of his New York trial in the Metropolitan Detention Center. He had been in a minimum security federal prison in Pennsylvania, where he's serving 7.5 years for convictions related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort's New York trial is notable because though President Donald Trump has the power to pardon his former campaign chief on the federal convictions, he has no say over the state case.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. filed the charges in March, accusing Manafort of falsifying business records in order to secure millions in residential mortgage loans from 2015 to 2017. If convicted on the most serious count, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
Manafort's lawyer, Todd Blanche, said he's seeking to have the case dropped because it mirrors federal charges his client already faced in federal court. He cited New York's double jeopardy laws.