NY AG Letitia James Pushed To Change The Double Jeopardy Law. She Just Got Her Way With New Bill Weakening Trump’s Pardon Power

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
NY AG Letitia James
Letitia James delivers a victory speech after winning the primary election for attorney general Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in New York. The 59-year-old was an early favorite in the race after getting endorsements from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other top Democrats. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

New York Attorney General Letitia James doesn’t want anyone – particularly high-profile people with powerful relationships – to use the law to avoid justice. That’s why the woman who led the way in getting the state’s double jeopardy law passed has backed a new bill with an exception that will weaken President Donald Trump’s pardoning power.

The new bill will allow prosecutors to press charges against accused criminals even if they’ve received a presidential pardon in a federal case, reported NBC News.

According to NBC, “any pardoned individual who served in a president’s administration, worked directly or indirectly to advance their campaign or transition, or worked at a non-profit or business controlled by the president and whose alleged criminal activity took place in New York state” can still be investigated.

The bill passed among state lawmakers Tuesday and is now heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk. Cuomo has said he will sign it.

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Currently, there’s a loophole in New York’s double jeopardy law that prevents the state from prosecuting someone for the same crime the federal government has already tried them for.

Known to be an advocate for justice, James is currently investigating Trump and family. She doesn’t want the double jeopardy law and presidential pardon powers to be abused to derail the her, or any other prosecutor, obtaining justice.

After the law passed, she tweeted the purpose of double jeopardy is ”to prevent someone from being charged twice for the same crime, not to allow them to evade justice altogether.”

She added that no one, regardless of their title, position or affiliation, should think themselves above reproach.

“The rule of law is a core pillar of our nation’s democracy and my primary role is to uphold it and ensure that no one is above it,” James said.