corruption, Double Jeopardy, Eric T. Schneiderman, federal law, Financial crime, fraud, legal loophole, New York, Presidential pardons, state law, Supreme Court, tax crimes, Tax fraud, Trump, Trump pardons
News Release from the Office of New York Attorney General Schneiderman:
“A.G. Schneiderman Sends Letter Urging State Lawmakers To Close New York’s Double Jeopardy Loophole To Prevent Those Pardoned By The President From Evading Potential State Prosecution
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent a letter to state lawmakers today urging them to close a loophole in New York’s double jeopardy law.
Closing the loophole would ensure that individuals who broke New York law could not evade accountability for any state crimes as a result of a strategically-timed pardon by the president.
The letter is available here: https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/letter_from_ag.pdf
“Long ago, the Supreme Court made clear that presidents cannot pardon for state crimes—now it’s time for New York law to do the same,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “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.
We are disturbed by reports that the President is considering pardons of individuals who may have committed serious federal financial, tax, and other crimes—acts that may also violate New York law. We must ensure that if the President, or any president, issues such pardons, we can use the full force of New York’s laws to bring such individuals to justice.” https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-sends-letter-urging-state-lawmakers-close-new-yorks-double-jeopardy
From the letter:
“April 18, 2018
Dear Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan, Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Minority Leader Kolb:
The President’s power to pardon federal crimes is sweeping and subject to limited review by the other branches of government. Our country’s founders argued this power was “benign” and would be used by presidents with “scrupulousness and caution.” Thus far, they have generally been right. Since the Nation’s founding, presidents have used this power sparingly, largely to do justice, rather than subvert it.
Yet recent reports indicate that the President may be considering issuing pardons that may impede criminal investigations. This is disturbing news, not only because it would undermine public confidence in the rule of law, but also because—due to a little-known feature of New York law that appears to be unique in its reach—a strategically-timed pardon could prevent individuals who may have violated our State’s laws from standing trial in our courts as well. My staff has researched the relevant state statute and its legislative history, and can find no evidence that the Legislature intended this result. Therefore, I write to urge you to amend a law that may prevent state prosecutors from pursuing serious violations of state criminal law after a presidential pardon…..” Read the rest of the letter here: https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/letter_from_ag.pdf
Emphasis our own.