Pardon me!

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo addresses the crowd during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016. Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post/File

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Wednesday so-called double jeopardy legislation that would weaken presidential pardon powers.

A key part of the Attorney General’s program bill, the legislation would close what proponents called a legal loophole that would let pardoned individuals with ties to the president get away with criminal acts — particularly criminal acts to protect or serve the president.

“Closing the double jeopardy loophole will help to prevent the possible abuse of the pardon power by creating mechanism to ensure pardons are properly used and that New York can hold individuals accountable for their actions,” Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-9, said in a statement Wednesday.

The new law would apply only to pardoned individuals who have a conflict of interest with the president. This includes being related to the president, having worked in the White House or on the president’s campaign, or having committed crimes for the president or to help the president avoid criminal prosecution.

“The closure of this egregious loophole gives prosecutors the ability to stand up against any abuse of power, and helps ensure that no politically motivated, self-serving action is sanctioned under law,” Cuomo said in a press release.

The law was signed at a time that Cuomo and state Legislators have raised concerns about President Donald Trump’s conduct, which Lentol explained as the use of presidential powers “with bad intentions.”

“When there is an abuse of power and inaction at the federal level to check that abuse, a state must be prepared to act to ensure individuals are held accountable,” he said.

Massarah Mikati covers the New York State Legislature and immigration for Johnson Newspaper Corp. Email her at, or find her on Twitter @massarahmikati.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(4) comments


So this would only apply to pardons for violations of New York laws? "And he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

hermit thrush

this is a very sensible law.


It’ll get thrown out by the courts, nice try though. Just typical liberal politics, laws for political reasons on your opponents. New York should not undermine its important statutory safeguards for short-term political gain.

Holmes -- the real one

Well, (fake) "Holmes," I was just wondering when you would weigh in with today's "I just hate Democrats" position statement.

Have you ever heard of the term, 'projection'? It's a favorite defense tactic of your boy, the occupant in the White House, "Individual I." This statement of yours here is a textbook example. Keep up the good work.

Thoughts and prayers,

Holmes -- the real one.

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