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Manhattan DA charges Ken Kurson months after being pardoned by Trump

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Kenneth Kurson, the former editor of the New York Observer, was charged by New York State prosecutors with spying on his former wife, months after being pardoned by then-outgoing President Donald Trump.

Kurson, a friend of the Trump family, was charged by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr on Wednesday with eavesdropping and computer trespass, each a felony, for using spyware to gain access to the communications of his wife between Sept. 24, 2015 and March 3, 2016, amid their divorce proceedings.

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"As alleged in the complaint, Mr. Kurson launched a campaign of cybercrime, manipulation and abuse from his perch at the New York Observer, and now the people of New York will hold him accountable," Vance said in a statement.

The criminal complaint accuses Kurson -- a friend of Jared Kushner, the husband of the former president's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump -- of having employed monitoring software on a computer of his then-wife with whom he lived with at the time to record her keystrokes in order to obtain the passwords to her personal Facebook and Gmail accounts.

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Prosecutors said Kurson, 52, used the passwords to gain access to her personal accounts and at least once anonymously disseminated private messages.

The prosecutors' office said the new charges come in an investigation that began after Kurson was pardon by Trump on his final day in office.

Trump granted Kurson a full pardon on Jan. 20 as the investigation into his conduct "only began because Mr. Kurson was nominated to a role within the Trump administration," the White House said.

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The former editor was charged in October with stalking and harassing three people connected to his then ongoing divorce between September and December 2015.

The abuses committed against the three victims included filing false complaints with the employers of two of the unnamed individuals, using aliases to post negative reviews on multiple websites about one of the individual's services and on multiple occasions traveling to the work place of two of the individuals "for no legitimate purpose," the complaint said.

Vance said they are asking potential victims or witnesses of this type of cybercrime or partner abuse they allege Kurson to have committed to contact the authorities.

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"We will not accept presidential pardons as get-out-of-jail-free cards for the well-connected in New York," he said.

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