President Trump’s administration continues to polarize government officials all over the country. On April 18th, New York’s Attorney General asked Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators for the power to ignore presidential pardons issued by Trump.
At that time, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged the governor and state legislative leaders to eliminate a standing loophole that exists in New York double jeopardy law. As it currently stands, the law shields individuals who have received presidential pardons from state prosecution. However, on May 7th, Schneidermann resigned as Attorney General, in response to four women accusing him of abuse.
President Donald Trump reportedly has asked his legal team about his power to pardon his aides, his family, and even himself in an effort to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, according to people familiar with his plans who spoke to reporters with The Washington Post. A second individual confirmed that Trump's lawyers have discussed the president's pardoning powers among themselves. The president has also pursued perceived conflicts of interest on Mueller’s team, which could potentially be cited by an attorney general and stymie his work. Justice Department regulations currently allow attorneys general to cite a conflict of interest as one of the possible grounds to remove a special counsel from office.
A close adviser to the president denied that Trump is pushing back against Mueller's investigation and that he simply made inquiries into the extent of his pardoning authority. “This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,'” the adviser said.