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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why the Democratic Takeover of the New York State Senate is a Big National Deal

 In  Defying the Oddswe discuss  Trump's record of scandal.

There is speculation that Trump could pardon Manafort, or even himself.

But much of what they did occurred in New York, which potentially exposes them to prosecution under state law.  And presidents cannot pardon for state offenses.

In August, Michael Gormley reported at Newsday:
A Democratic bill in the Senate and Assembly to make all people pardoned by a president subject to state prosecution was introduced in April, but they haven’t moved out of their initial committees since then. The Senate bill doesn’t have a sponsor in the chamber’s Republican majority, which would be required to advance it. The Republican majority didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
A case brought under state law would have to contend with prohibitions under the U.S. Constitution and state constitution against “double jeopardy” — being tried for the same crime twice. However, if a person is pardoned for a federal crime, state prosecutors may argue that they weren’t convicted of any identical state crime, so they would still be subject to enforcement of state law, supporters of the measure have argued.

“Closing the double jeopardy loophole would allow our state to preserve its right to go after violations of New York law regardless of whether a federal pardon is issued,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), a former federal prosecutor. “It is common sense and basic fairness.”
State Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who in investigating Trump’s New York-based foundation, called the bill a top priority in May.
Incoming Attorney General Letitia James agrees with the idea, as does Governor Cuomo. 

But as long as the GOP effectively controlled the State Senate, there was no chance that any such bill would become law.

On Election Day, Democrats swept to power in the chamber.