Former New York Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson, who was pardoned by Donald Trump over federal cyberstalking allegations, is now in plea discussions over state charges springing from the same conduct. Assistant District Attorney Alex Wynne disclosed the talks at a hearing Friday in New York Criminal Court in Manhattan, Business Insider reported on Friday.
In July, The New York Times reported the alleged misconduct was uncovered during an FBI background check after Trump considered Kurson for a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Kurson, who also worked for Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm as well as his failed 2008 presidential campaign, was charged in August with eavesdropping and computer trespass by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Both felonies carry a maximum of four years in prison. “We will not accept presidential pardons as get-out-of-jail-free cards for the well-connected in New York,” Vance said at the time in a statement. Presidential pardons only apply to federal charges.
Kushner friend pardoned by Trump in plea talks on cyberstalking charges. Former New York Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson is accused ot using spyware to access his ex-wife's accounts https://t.co/jUj80aMVXK pic.twitter.com/UrQBT59pLE
— Crain's New York (@CrainsNewYork) October 15, 2021
According to Business Insider, the New York prosecutors are alleging that Kurson installed spyware on a computer belonging to his ex-wife to hack into her accounts and obtain her passwords. Kurson then allegedly posed as her and anonymously distributed private Facebook messages. The spyware tracked her account from September 2015 to March 2016, according to court documents.
Friend of Jared Kushner was charged with cybercrimes by Manhattan's district attorney for cyberstalking his ex-wife.Kurson stands accused of illegally accessing his ex-wife's communications in 2015 & 2016 during his time as editor-in-chief of Observer Media Group #ArrestTrumpNow pic.twitter.com/U3OyIU1P3k
— Dr.KhanBaba0786 (@sswang789) October 8, 2021
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn filed similar charges against Kurson a year ago. They claimed that Kurson cyberstalked and harassed three victims because of anger over his divorce. They alleged he accessed email and social media accounts, and used aliases to file complaints against the victims with their employers.
Hey, you missed the key fact…this pardon is a favor to TFG's Outlaw Son-in-Law
"Kurson is a close friend of Trump’s son-in-law and former senior White House aide Jared Kushner, who previously owned the Observer." https://t.co/5sMqnqbuuX
— EmeraldBlue (@HeadhunterSully) October 15, 2021
Kurson served as the top editor of the Observer from 2013 to 2017. Kushner bought the newspaper in 2006 and transferred ownership to a family trust after Trump moved to the White House.