2019-02-22 —

The Manhattan district attorney's office is preparing state criminal charges against Paul J. Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, in an effort to ensure he will still face prison time even if the president pardons him for his federal crimes, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.


The office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., first began investigating Mr. Manafort in 2017 in connection with loans he received from two banks. Those loans were also the subject of some of the counts in the federal indictment that led to his conviction last year. But the state prosecutors deferred their inquiry in order not to interfere with Mr. Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

They resumed their investigation in recent months, and a state grand jury began hearing evidence in the case, several people with knowledge of the matter said. The panel is expected to wrap up its work in the coming weeks,


In the Manhattan case, the evidence presented to a grand jury appears to be connected to loans issued by Citizens Bank in Rhode Island and Federal Savings Bank in Chicago.

The banks have received grand jury subpoenas for records relating to the loans they issued to Mr. Manafort, which were worth millions of dollars, people with knowledge of the matter said. The grand jury also has been hearing testimony about the loans. Citizens Bank has been cooperating with the investigation, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. A spokeswoman for Federal Savings Bank did not respond to a request for comment.

It is unclear precisely what charges Mr. Manafort would face, but they could include two state felonies: falsifying business records, if the evidence shows Mr. Manafort used the loan money for an unauthorized purpose, and grand larceny.

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