A law professor said that a pardon from President Trump may not be enough to save Roger Stone, given right-wing author Jerome Corsi’s revelation earlier this week. Corsi said that Stone wanted emails to be released in time to counter the not-yet-released Access Hollywood footage of Donald Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush in which he made offensive comments about women.
Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman said that while this revelation may not be grounds for charges in the Mueller investigation, it could be grounds for state charges, which would be unaffected if President Trump were to grant a pardon to Stone.
“If a pardon comes down for Stone, could he face any state liabilities?” Shugerman said. “The key thing about a presidential pardon is it only affects federal criminal liability.”
Shugerman said that Mueller may have brought certain charges in the indictment that only a federal prosecutor could bring, but that he may have intentionally left out other charges that only New York State could bring.
“Could you bring a state charge under New York law for aiding and abetting a hacking conspiracy, or for soliciting stolen goods?” Shugerman asked.
Regarding the “conspiracy” possibility, if Mueller has evidence that people were involved in collusion, Shugerman’s theory might be valid if Mueller wanted Stone to reveal others who may have been involved.
As for the “stolen goods” conjecture, there is no evidence Stone asked WikiLeaks to give him stolen goods and, because in this case the stolen materials were published, First Amendment concerns are at stake, which means that that the DOJ may be hesitant to press charges.