It seems that one of Donald Trump’s most favorite presidential powers, just after government shutdowns and national emergency declarations, is his ability to pardon pretty much anyone, without being subject to any real rules or even questioning. Of course, this has led him to pardon some pretty questionable individuals, such as the several war criminals that he plans to pardon in a big Memorial Day celebration, or the dozens of witnesses that he’s offered to pardon as a bargaining chip to prevent them from testifying against him. This presidential ability has never really been subject to very much oversight — until now.
The New York Law Journal reports:
New York legislators gave final passage Tuesday to a bill that would allow state prosecutors, including New York Attorney General Letitia James, to prosecute those who’ve been pardoned of federal crimes by President Donald Trump. That’s currently not allowed in New York because of what Democrats who back the measure have called the ‘double jeopardy loophole,’ a gap in state law that prevents state prosecutors from using the same set of facts to bring charges against a federally pardoned individual.”
The bill passed the Senate earlier in the week and passed the state assembly 90–52.
Democratic Assemblyman Joseph Lentol stated, “Since there’s inaction in Washington to stop any of this power of the pardon being abused, or in any other way stopping the president from doing whatever he wants, it’s kind of ironic that the state has to step in and enforce the state’s rights to change the law so that we can check the power of the president.”
The reason the law would prevent Trump from enticing people not to testify with a pardon is that a President may only pardon people of federal crimes, not state convictions.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has given every indication that he will pass the bill into law.
We can only imagine the level of Twitter tantrum that will ensue if someone takes away one of Trump’s favorite big sticks.
Featured image via DC Tribune Gallery