US Supreme Court’s Latest Move Could Protect Trump From State Prosecutions

Americans furious with President Donald Trump's possibly criminal acts have taken solace in the fact that should the Mueller investigation lead to federal prosecution but fail, state attorneys general could prosecute him.

Also, should President Trump decide to pardon those involved in illegal acts, say, for example, colluding with Russia, or money laundering, he can only pardon them for federal crimes – they can still be prosecuted under state laws.

Thursday morning the U.S. Supreme Court announced it is taking up a case involving double jeopardy. In short, if the plaintiff is successful, it would no longer be legal for someone to be prosecuted by a state if the federal government has already tried – or pardoned – them.

Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at a conservative think tank and the co-author of One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, makes clear what is happening.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance, a frequent legal expert on MSNBC, also weighs in:

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that "double jeopardy" does not violate the Fifth Amendment. The Court does not generally explain why it accepts cases for review.


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