Will Donald Trump pardon Michael Flynn for lying to FBI? Internet says 'no one's surprised'
In January 2020, Flynn and his legal team had wanted to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging prosecutorial misconduct
President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to pardon his former national security adviser Michael T Flynn. According to Axios, two sources with the knowledge of the discussions have told them that POTUS plans to issue a series of pardons. The Axios report states that Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 about lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.
In January 2020, after two years of sentencing delays due to his assistance with the Mueller investigation, Flynn and his legal team had wanted to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell, who was recently cut-off from Trump’s election legal team, at a hearing in September, had accepted that she had spoken to Trump and had requested him not issue a pardon. But it wasn’t clear what discussions Powell and the president have had since then. White House Correspondent for Fox News, Kevin Corke, also wrote on Twitter: “Confirmed by my colleague @johnrobertsFox who cites sources with knowledge.”
Confirmed by my colleague @johnrobertsFox who cites sources with knowledge.— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) November 25, 2020
Michael Flynn and his case
As per a May 2020 CNN report, Flynn is a retired Army lieutenant general who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. During his military career, he earned numerous awards and in 2012, then-President Barack Obama had appointed him to run the Defense Intelligence Agency, the top military intelligence service in the country. However, after two years, Flynn was forced out and retired from the military. He launched a consulting firm and resurfaced in 2016. After Trump won the election, he chose Flynn to be his national security adviser.
However, according to a USA Today report, Obama had cautioned Trump against hiring him, citing "profound concerns." The report states, in 2017, the FBI interviewed Flynn regarding his relationship with Russia. He eventually resigned from his position 24 days into the new administration, amid disclosures that he had allegedly misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding sanctions before Trump took office.
Prosecutors alleged Flynn “did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to FBI agents during a January 2017 interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. The interview took place in Flynn's White House office, four days after he assumed his post as national security adviser. The report states, “According to the allegations, Flynn falsely told the agents that he did not ask Kislyak to delay a vote on a pending United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements.”
The CNN report states when special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to look over the Russia investigation, he looked into Flynn's conduct, including Flynn's undisclosed pro-Turkey lobbying in 2016. The report states Flynn and Mueller reached a plea deal in December 2017. He agreed to help the probe and eventually provided evidence against Trump. Mueller let Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, and settled not to bring charges on Flynn's other lies or on the illegal lobbying. The USA Today report states that he also entered another guilty plea for a second time, in 2018 at a sentencing hearing. As part of his plea, Flynn admitted to lying about Turkish lobbying and research work, as per the report. In December 2018, when Flynn was in federal court to declare he was ready to accept responsibility for his crimes and proceed to sentencing, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan said, Flynn “sold” his country out.
But in January this year, he tried to reverse the plea. Flynn’s legal team accused the Justice Department and FBI of compelling him to admit to crimes he did not commit. The Axios report points out that a federal prosecutor appointed to review the case by Attorney General Bill Barr suggested that the charges be dropped. The outcome of the suggestion was that the FBI interview in which Flynn lied was "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."
Sullivan did not instantly agree to drop the charges, and asked for outside legal experts to weigh in on the unusual case. Flynn's lawyers filed an emergency appeal to compel the judge to agree with the DOJ motion, but in an eventual legal battle, an appeals court was in favor of Sullivan. Earlier this year, Trump had altered the sentence of Roger Stone, another associate charged in the Mueller investigation.
A user alleged, “Joe Biden is hard at work trying to figure out how to save millions of Americans from Covid-19. Trump is hard at work trying to save his own a**, Michael Flynn's, and 100s of other criminals via pardon.” One opined, “will be interesting to see what Trump pardons Michael Flynn for. Trump does not know the entirety of Flynn's federal criminal exposure. Flynn might not even be specifically aware of the entirety of his federal criminal exposure.” Another said, “Who’s surprised that Trump is going to pardon Flynn? Nobody. Move on. It’s only a distraction to take away from Biden’s transition & cabinet picks...”
Joe Biden is hard at work trying to figure out how to save millions of Americans from COVID-19.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) November 25, 2020
trump is hard at work trying to save his own ass, Michael Flynn's, and 100s of other criminals via pardon.
Will be interesting to see what Trump pardons Michael Flynn for. Trump does not know the entirety of Flynn's federal criminal exposure. Flynn might not even be specifically aware of the entirety of his federal criminal exposure.— Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) November 25, 2020
Who’s surprised that Trump is going to pardon Flynn?— Just Us (@JustUnitedd) November 25, 2020
Move on. It’s only a distraction to take away from Biden’s transition & cabinet picks...
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