Upcoming Double Jeopardy Ruling From Supreme Court May Let Paul Manafort Off The Hook, Says Judge Napolitano

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Nick Givas Media And Politics Reporter
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Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said an upcoming Supreme Court decision could change the game on double jeopardy and allow former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to walk free.

“The framers wanted this in there because British kings would try you — you were found not guilty. They’d try you again before another jury and again before another jury. The Constitution prohibits it,” Napolitano said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.” “The Supreme Court has looked and said it only prohibits the same government from trying you again. So if you commit a crime that is both a state and a federal crime, you can be tried twice.”

Napolitano cited the case of an Alabama man in Gamble v. U.S. who was sentenced to one year in state prison for drug and firearm possession. He was then indicted for the same crime on a federal level, sparking a legal challenge. (RELATED: Judge Napolitano Says Trump’s Pardon Power Is ‘Absolute’ But It Won’t Matter When It Comes To Manafort)

“He says, wait a minute, the double jeopardy clause prohibits this second prosecution,” Napolitano continued. “But we now have a Supreme Court that is willing to interpret the double jeopardy clause as the framers intended it. We have [Justices] Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas agreeing on this principle.”


Napolitano said it’s been 150 years since this element of double jeopardy has been examined and claimed it could end allowing Manafort to walk free with a pardon from the president.

“When Manafort pleaded guilty in September, his guilty plea was 175 pages long. I’ve never seen one like it. He not only pleaded guilty to federal crimes for which he was charged, he pleaded guilty to state crimes for which he has not yet been charged,” he said. “Why did they do that? Because they fear that the president might pardon Paul Manafort. The day of the pardon he’ll be indicted by the states — unless those prosecutions would be prohibited by a new double jeopardy interpretation.”

Napolitano said to expect a decision on the case by April 2019.

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