The Trump Justice Department backed by three-dozen states want the status quo to remain and successive prosecution in State and Federal court to continue.
A Supreme Court case concerning double-jeopardy rules is receiving outsized attention due to its potential implications for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
At issue in the case heard Thursday is whether and when being tried in state and federal courts for the same crimes is permissible. Under a current constitutional exception, it has been allowed for years.
A court reversal here could be far-reaching – and represent a sea change in how state, federal and tribal criminal cases are handled.
The intriguing relevance to Mueller’s investigation would be if one of the defendants charged or convicted in the broad investigation -- such as Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort -- were to be pardoned by the president for various federal offenses. Would a state then be allowed to pursue its own separate charges, including tax evasion or corporate fraud?