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Trump pardons Michael Flynn — making himself look even more guilty

November 25, 2020 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a “full pardon” for his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a key figure from the start of Russia investigation and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential transition. The reason for his lying was never fully explained. He also admitted to working as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey while serving on the Trump campaign, work that included publishing a ghost-written op-ed in The Hill that argued for extraditing an American resident who is seen as an enemy of the Turkish government. After admitting to his crimes, Flynn attempted to recant and withdraw his guilty plea, an issue which had yet to be resolved by the courts.

Trump was widely expected to give a pardon to Flynn, who has become a hero on the right for his perceived martyrdom in the Russia probe. Despite the fact that he admitted his guilt and there is strong evidence behind the charges, Flynn was seen by many conservative figures as wrongfully prosecuted.

It’s not clear yet what conduct the pardon covers. Trump’s tweet about the matter did not specify how the pardon is worded, which could be significant for any potential future case against Flynn.

Flynn’s pardon follows Trump’s Summer commutation of the sentence of Roger Stone, another of his allies who was charged by the Mueller team. Additional pardons for others involved or those charged in other cases may bet yet to come.

It’s worth noting that the pardons undermine the whole point of having a special counsel, which is meant to protect sensitive cases that implicate the president’s interest from the White House’s influence.

In the Mueller report, the special counsel argued that the president’s repeated suggestions that pardons may be awaiting Flynn, Stone, and others could constitute criminal acts of obstruction of justice. Trump’s following through on giving these pardons could be seen as additional evidence for this crime.

In the case of Flynn, the report explained:

After Flynn withdrew from a joint defense agreement with the President and began cooperating with the government, the President’s personal counsel left a message for …read more


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