President Trump 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 in his eighth year as attorney general, has made his office a central figure in blue state challenges to Trump, tangling with the Republican president on such matters as consumer finance, the environment, immigration and the 2020 census.
And Democrat Cuomo is reviewing Schneiderman’s proposal, and believes that the federal legal system should not provide a basis for any wrong doers to escape justice.
Meanwhile State Senator Todd Kaminsky, also a Democrat, tweeted a plan to introduce a bill closing the loophole.
It’s not known if a revised law can make it through the state senate, which is closely divided between Republicans and Democrats. 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.
Should they succeed in closing the 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 more than 20 states provide defendants only the minimum required protection against double jeopardy.