In Donald Trump’s view, his ex-security advisor has been treated unfairly by the judiciary and the FBI. Michael Flynn was involved in the Russia affair. Trump pardoned him – shortly before the end of his term in office.
US President Donald Trump has pardoned his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. “It is a great honor for me to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has received a full pardon,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. The retired general was involved in the Russia affair about possible electoral influence from Russia. Trump could pardon more people before the end of his term on January 20.
In his tweet, Trump congratulated Flynn and his family and wrote this Thursday, “I know you are going to have a really fantastic Thanksgiving!”
It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2020
Flynn had only served a little over three weeks as National Security Advisor in 2017. He later admitted in the course of the investigation into possible Russian influence on the US presidential election in 2016 that he had lied to the FBI Federal Police. He is also said to have lied to Vice President Mike Pence on the matter. Flynn was the only one to plead guilty to FBI special investigator Robert Mueller’s investigations.
Justice Department called for the Flynn trial to end
In January, Flynn filed a motion to withdraw his confession shortly before a verdict was expected in his trial. In May, the Justice Ministry called for an end to the proceedings in a highly unusual step. One is not convinced that the hearing of Flynn in January 2017 was based on a legitimate investigation, it said, among other things. Trump then hailed Flynn as a “hero”.
The case was stuck in a federal court after the controversial advance of the Ministry of Justice. The judge responsible there had not agreed to drop the allegations against Flynn.
Trump has long considered pardoning his confidante. In March he said he was considering a “full pardon”. In Trump’s view, Flynn has been treated unfairly by the judiciary and the FBI. Trump repeatedly complained that Flynn was being prosecuted by the judiciary. “You accused Flynn of lying and he didn’t lie,” Trump said in an interview around October.
Prior to the November presidential election, the issue of the Flynn legal battle, which Republicans used to incite their grassroots against an alleged establishment conspiracy, had become the subject of discussion. Critics may see Flynn’s pardon as further proof of their allegation that Trump is using his office to protect friends and partners from prosecution.
A similar tenor had a statement by Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday: “General Flynn should not need a pardon. He is an innocent man.” He was “the victim of partisan government officials” who tried to undermine the 2016 elections. McEnany accused employees of the administration of ex-President Barack Obama of having thwarted a “peaceful transfer of power” to his successor.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows referred to Flynn as an “American patriot” on Twitter. “What the left has done to him and his family over the past four years must never be allowed in America again.”
Democrats see abuse of power
House spokeswoman Democrat Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of abuse of power in favor of a convicted criminal: “Flynn’s actions have represented a serious and dangerous violation of our national security.” The pardon is further proof that Trump does not respect the rule of law.
US House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff wrote on Twitter: “Donald Trump has repeatedly abused his pardon to reward friends and protect those who have covered him.”