NY Senate Majority Advances Legislation to Challenge Presidential Immunity

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
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Photo: NYS Senate

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (above) says presidents must be held accountable to the law like everyone else.

Wednesday, the Senate Majority passed legislation (S.1408) known as the “No Citizen is Above the Law Act.” The bill sponsored by Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris will prevent Presidents from using immunity to impede criminal investigations by running out the clock on the statute of limitations.

If signed into law, New York prosecutors could pursue investigations into former President Donald Trump and bring charges if warranted. The measure passed in the NYS Senate in a vote of 42 to 21, mostly across party lines.

“We are fortunate that Donald Trump is out of the White House; however, we must not forget the abuses of the law that took place under his administration,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “I commend Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris for ensuring that no person is above the law in New York State, not even a former president. The President must be held to the highest standard. The Senate Democratic Majority will always fight for transparency, accountability, and fairness when enforcing New York State’s laws.”

Bill Sponsor, Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, said, “Any President who breaks the law should be held accountable without regard to the time they spend in office. As our nation prepares for an unprecedented second impeachment trial, we must close the loophole that allows Presidents to escape culpability by exploiting statutes of limitations due to Presidential immunity.”

The legislation pauses the statute of limitations on crimes alleged to have been committed by a President and was motivated by former President Donald Trump’s repeated legal maneuverings to fight a subpoena from New York prosecutors, seeking his tax returns.

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