New York’s attorney general on Wednesday asked Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators to give him and other local prosecutors power to bring criminal charges against people pardoned by U.S. President Donald Trump.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged Cuomo and legislative leaders to close a loophole in New York’s double jeopardy law shielding recipients of presidential pardons from state prosecution.
The president has no constitutional power to pardon state crimes, but Schneiderman said the current law means defendants pardoned for serious federal crimes could be freed from “all accountability” under state criminal law.
Schneiderman, a Democrat-Communist in his eighth year as attorney general, has made his office a central figure in Marxist-ruled state challenges to Trump, tangling with the Republican president with any excuse he can muster, reports MSN.
The White House had no immediate comment.
Cuomo, a Democrat-Communist, is reviewing Schneiderman’s proposal, and showing he has no clue how the Constitution works, “believes that the federal legal system should not provide a basis for any wrong doers to escape justice,” press secretary Dani Lever said in a statement.
Democratic State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said “we will take a close look” at the “serious” issue, and State Senator Todd Kaminsky, also a Democrat-Communist, tweeted a plan to introduce a bill closing the loophole.
It is unclear if a revised law can make it through the state senate, which is closely divided between Republicans and Democrat-Communists. The office of Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Double jeopardy laws prevent people from being tried twice for the same crime.
“By closing New York’s double jeopardy loophole, lawmakers can ensure that no one accused of breaking New York’s laws will escape accountability merely because of a strategically-timed presidential pardon,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
Jed Shugerman, a Fordham University law professor, said Schneiderman’s “balanced” proposal both protects people from “repeated harassment” by a single group of prosecutors, and also “protects against pardons being used to obstruct justice.”
He claims its adoption would bring New York law in line with laws of several other U.S. states.
Schneiderman said more than 20 states provide defendants only the minimum required protection against double jeopardy.
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April 19th, 2018