NY AG: Trump pardons can’t be shield for state charges

The Associated Press

Albany, N.Y. – New York’s attorney general has identified a loophole in state law that he says could allow criminal defendants pardoned by President Donald Trump to argue that they can’t be charged at the state level.

Democrat Eric Schneiderman wrote to state legislators Wednesday urging them to clarify the law to eliminate the possibility. He says a well-intentioned state law on double jeopardy could prevent state charges when a defendant already has received a federal pardon for similar federal charges. He says the loophole is clearly unintended.

Schneiderman says he was “disturbed” by reports that Trump, a Republican, may be considering issuing pardons that could impede ongoing criminal investigations, potentially including those into the Trump Organization, the administration or Russian meddling.

Lawmakers in Albany have yet to respond to Schneiderman’s request.