Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Manhattan judge on Wednesday dismissed state charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying the case violates double jeopardy law.
Judge Maxwell Wiley said Manafort, 70, can't be tried twice for the same offenses. He faced more than a dozen state felony charges related to mortgage fraud, some of which he was convicted of on the federal level.
"This indictment should never have been brought," Manafort's lawyer, Todd Blanche, said after the hearing. "Today's decision is a stark reminder that the law and justice should always prevail over politically motivated actions."
If Manafort had been convicted on state charges, he wouldn't be eligible for a pardon from President Donald Trump. Manafort's serving 7.5 years in prison on charges linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said he planned to appeal Wiley's ruling. The indictment accused Manafort of falsifying business records in order to secure millions in loans.
The hearing came one day after Blanche said Manafort had been hospitalized last week. Sources said he had a cardiac event and was transported to a hospital in Pennsylvania.