Donald Trump is now in a position where he’ll be indicted on federal criminal charges the minute he’s no longer in office. The Feds at the SDNY are clearly already headed in that direction based on its “Individual-1” filings, and the Mueller report specifically states that Trump can be charged with obstruction once he’s out of office. But what happens if Trump tries to pardon himself, and perhaps his family and friends, on his way out the door?
New York is dealing with that question in a big way. The New York State Senate just passed a bill which makes clear that it’s not considered double jeopardy if a person is charged with the same crimes on a state and federal level. Because the Democrats control the entire New York State government, this bill is going to be signed into law. This means two things with regard to Donald Trump.
First, it means New York prosecutors can bring state charges against Donald Trump and/or his allies without fear of screwing up the ability of the Feds to bring the same charges in the future. For instance, if the New York Attorney General concludes that it’s constitutional to indict Trump now, she can do it. And if any federal cases against Trump’s family are on hold until he’s out of office, for fear he’ll pardon them, New York State can go ahead and indict them now. But this is only half of what New York did to Trump today.
The New York State Senate also passed a bill today which ensures that Donald Trump’s state tax returns will be given to any House committee that requests them. This means that once this bill finishes becoming law, people like House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters will gain access to Trump’s New York State tax returns.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report