On Thursday, after news broke that President Trump had pardoned Dinesh D’Souza for his campaign finance violations, the New York Attorney General’s office immediately tweeted out that they’d like to pass a state law to unjustifiably jail those who had been pardoned for federal crimes. In fact, they’d like to violate the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy.
Here’s their statement and tweet:
The “double-jeopardy loophole” is actually just called “double jeopardy” – you can’t be prosecuted twice for the same crime. And if you’re pardoned for a crime, you can’t be tried or jailed again for the same crime. The entire purpose of the Constitutional provision barring double jeopardy is to prevent the political prosecution of people for crimes for which they have already been acquitted. And the NY Attorney General is now explicitly calling for jailing people they don’t like politically.
It’s rare to see the partisan hackery of a supposedly non-political office exposed in this way. But it’s not shocking. It merely reminds us that our instruments of judicial law enforcement are subject to political bias in radical ways.