April 18, 2018 – 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.
“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.”