Kushner pal pleads guilty to talking online

NEW YORK – A former newspaper editor who received a pardon from former US President Donald Trump on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges of using the New York network in a settlement that could eventually see the case. work is mitigated.

Manhattan prosecutors have said they will retract Ken Kurson’s charges of attempted computer hacking and attempted wiretapping for a year if he does 100 hours of community service and stays out of trouble.

Kurson, a friend of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was charged in August with hacking his wife’s online account and sending threatening, harassing messages to several people amid divorce proceedings. vibrant in 2015.

Kurson, editor of the New York Observer when it was owned by Kushner, sometimes monitored his current ex-wife’s computer activity from his desk in the newspaper’s Manhattan offices, the public said prosecutor.

The state lawsuit reflects a federal lawsuit against Kurson that was handled when Trump pardoned him in January 2021 during the final hours of his White House term. The presidential pardon only applies to federal crimes, not state crimes.

Assistant District Attorney Alona Katz said in court Wednesday that Kurson hasn’t re-offended in more than six years and has taken steps to prevent it.

As part of Kurson’s plea agreement, prosecutors reduced his initial charges of wiretapping and computer trespass to misdemeanor willful intent. If he meets the other terms, prosecutors will change those charges to harassment, a low-level offense classified as a violation, not a crime, under state law. An inspection hearing is scheduled for May 18.

A notice seeking comment was left with Kurson’s attorney.

Kurson, of South Orange, New Jersey, is the first person in Trump’s orbit to be charged by local prosecutors after being pardoned by the former president, although it is not the first time Manhattan prosecutors have mess with Trump or one of his allies.

Last year, the district attorney’s years-long criminal investigation into Trump and his business practices resulted in tax fraud charges against his company – the Trump Organization – and its chief financial officer. its perennial chief, Allen Weisselberg. Both pleaded not guilty.

Manhattan prosecutors previously charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with state crimes in 2019 as a hedge against the possibility of parole following his conviction in court. federal court for similar mortgage fraud charges. Trump later pardoned Manafort in the federal case, and the state case was dismissed on the grounds of dual danger.

New York relaxed double-hazard protections in 2019 to ensure state prosecutors can pursue charges against anyone pardoned by the president for similar federal crimes. .

In Kurson’s case, double jeopardy wasn’t an issue because his federal case was closed before he was convicted or acquitted.

The federal lawsuit against Kurson, who now works in the crypto industry, arose out of a background check when Trump offered Kurson a seat in 2018 on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Manhattan prosecutors began investigating Kurson for possible state law violations after Trump pardoned him.

In explaining the pardon, Trump’s White House cited a letter from Kurson’s ex-wife in which she said she never wanted him to be investigated or arrested and “repeatedly requested The FBI canceled it.”

According to Manhattan prosecutors, Kurson tracked her computer keystrokes in 2015 and 2016 using spyware, obtaining passwords, and accessing her Gmail and Facebook accounts. In October 2015, prosecutors said, he accessed and then anonymously distributed her Facebook messages.

According to the criminal complaint, she told police in his New Jersey town that he had “terrorized her via email and social media, getting her into trouble at work and in her social life. Miss.”

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