Ken Kurson, Kushner Ally Pardoned by Trump, Takes Plea Deal

A State Supreme Court judge, Josh Hanshaft, did not immediately approve the deal on Wednesday, asking for some time to review it. But after about an hour, he acquiesced.

A lawyer for Mr. Kurson, Marc L. Mukasey, declined to comment.

When the charges against Mr. Kurson were brought over the summer, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., then the Manhattan district attorney, said, “We will not accept presidential pardons as get-out-of-jail-free cards for the well-connected in New York.”

Mr. Kurson, who is also a former speechwriter for Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and adviser to Mr. Trump, was one of several Trump associates who received pardons for federal crimes, only to find that Mr. Vance, a Democrat, had opened investigations into their conduct. (Presidential pardons do not shield against state charges.) Mr. Vance also spent years investigating Mr. Trump and his business practices.

In 2019, Mr. Vance charged Paul J. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, with a number of crimes, including mortgage fraud. A New York appeals court ruled that the charges violated the state’s double jeopardy law, bringing the case to an end.

Mr. Vance also opened an investigation into Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist. And in July, the district attorney’s office charged Mr. Trump’s family business and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, with a yearslong scheme to evade taxes by compensating its employees with special perks that were hidden from the authorities.

In January, Mr. Vance was succeeded by Alvin Bragg, a former federal prosecutor who is also a Democrat. Under Mr. Bragg, prosecutors have continued their criminal investigations into Mr. Trump and his organization, and, separately, into Mr. Bannon.

Ben Protess contributed reporting.

The Tycoon Herald