Supreme Court upholds 'double jeopardy' standard that could blunt impact of potential Trump pardonshttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/17/supreme-court-double-jeopardy-ruling-trump-associates/3268701002/
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court upheld Monday the ability of federal and state governments to prosecute defendants twice for the same crime – a form of double jeopardy that could come into play if President Donald Trump pardons former associates caught up in the Russian election meddling scandal.
The case, which was heard in early December, had appeared to be an opportunity for challengers to block second prosecutions. But during oral argument, it became clear that a majority of justices were wary of letting criminals go free, possibly including some of those previously sentenced.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the 7-2 opinion, joined by three conservative and three liberal colleagues. Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch dissented.
The case gained attention largely because of the possibility that Trump could pardon one or more of his former associates convicted in federal court as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.