NY Official: Trump Pardons Can’t Be Shield for State Charges

New York’s attorney general says an unintended loophole in state law 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 double jeopardy law could prevent state charges when a defendant already has received a president 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 pardons that could impede criminal investigations, potentially including those into the Trump Organization, the administration or Russian meddling.

Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky responded, saying he’ll introduce legislation to close the loophole.

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