In the wake of the odious Dinesh D’Souza presidential pardon, New York’s acting attorney general called on state lawmakers Thursday to change a law preventing local prosecutors from pursuing charges against presidentially pardoned criminals. The Hill writes:
“President Trump’s latest pardon makes crystal clear his willingness to use his pardon power to thwart the cause of justice, rather than advance it,” [acting Attorney General Barbara] Underwood said in a statement.
“By pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, President Trump is undermining the rule of law by pardoning a political supporter who is an unapologetic convicted felon. First, it was Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Then it was Scooter Libby. Now it’s Dinesh D’Souza,” she continued.
“Lawmakers must act now to close New York’s double jeopardy loophole and ensure that anyone who evades federal justice by virtue of a politically expedient pardon can be held accountable if they violate New York law.”
Leveraging the D’Souza pardon to alter the law would be a strategic coup for Underwood. The change would send a message to Trump associates such as Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort that, even if they were pardoned for certain federal crimes, they could still face charges for the same actions under New York State law.
Before his ignominious departure, the state’s recently resigned attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, was also seeking to close the loophole by exempting the state’s double jeopardy law from applying to presidential pardons.
How great would it be if Trump’s D’Souza pardon backfired by spurring New York lawmakers to action?