The attorney-general of New York wants to be able to bring state charges against people who’ve received presidential pardons, citing President Trump and accusing him of recklessness.
Eric Schneiderman asked the leaders of New York state government in a letter Tuesday to change the state’s double jeopardy law, which says people who receive presidential pardons cannot have state charges brought against them.
“New York’s statutory protections could result in the unintended and unjust consequence of insulating someone pardoned for serious federal crimes from subsequent prosecution for state crimes,” Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, wrote in his letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and both parties’ leader in each legislative chamber.
Mr. Schneiderman has filed more than 100 lawsuits or administrative actions against President Trump and Washington Republicans, according to a Business Insider report dated Dec. 26, 2017.
Even before Tuesday’s letter, he had publicly said he wants his state government and his office to check the current president, a point that came up in his letter.
He said that the presidential-pardon power was perceived at the time of the Founding Fathers as “benign” and used with “scrupulousness and caution.” No more, he said.
“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,” he wrote.