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Kushner pal hit with state charges months after Trump pardon

Ken Kurson, Jared Kushner, Joseph Meyer
Posted at 2:57 PM, Aug 19, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — A newspaper editor friend of former President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was hit Wednesday with state cyberstalking charges in New York, seven months after Trump pardoned him in a similar federal case just before leaving office.

Manhattan prosecutors accused Ken Kurson, the New York Observer's editor when it was owned by Kushner, of hacking his wife's online accounts and sending threatening, harassing messages to several people amid heated divorce proceedings in 2015.

Kurson of South Orange, New Jersey, is charged with eavesdropping and computer trespass, both felonies.

At times, prosecutors said, Kurson was monitoring his now ex-wife's computer activity from his desk at the Observer's Manhattan offices.

According to the Associated Press, Kurson, who did not enter a plea at his arraignment Wednesday, was released on his own recognizance.

Kurson was federally charged last October on similar charges, but the case went away after Trump pardoned him in January, the AP reported.

“We will not accept presidential pardons as get-out-of-jail-free cards for the well-connected in New York,” said District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., in a news release. “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. We encourage all survivors and witnesses of this type of cybercrime and intimate partner abuse to report these crimes to our Office.”

According to the AP, presidential pardons apply only to federal offenses, not state crimes.

A message seeking comment was left with Kurson's lawyer.