This is another stark reminder of what an asshole tRump is. I happen to specialize in Applications for Pardons, and Flynn does not even qualify to apply using the normal process. But no, no normal process is needed because tRump abuses his pardon power by pardoning his political buddies.

This sends a terrible and troubling message: it is ok to lie to the FBI about national security matters; there will be no serious consequences for this crime!

The Letter below was PUBLISHED on Sunday, 11/29/20 on p A9 of The Delaware State News!  🙂

Letter to the Editor: Trump’s Flynn pardon doesn’t follow the law

Excerpts from the Article:

President Trump on Wednesday announced he had pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, ending a three-year legal saga that saw Flynn seek to withdraw a guilty plea for lying to the FBI and a controversial reversal by the Justice Department on his case.

Flynn pleaded guilty to a felony in December 2017, admitting that he had misled investigators about details of his conversations with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential transition.

His plea was one of the first major courtroom victories for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who had been appointed seven months earlier.

But this spring, Attorney General William P. Barr and the Justice Department declared that prosecutors should not have brought the case against him and sought to have it dismissed. That request has been pending before a federal judge, who has been reviewing the case.

Trump’s pardon of Flynn marks a full embrace of the retired general he had ousted from the White House after only 22 days on the job — and a final salvo against the Russia investigation that shadowed the first half of his term in office.

The president and his allies have touted Flynn’s cause in their efforts to discredit the special counsel inquiry into whether individuals associated with Trump’s campaign cooperated with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “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!”

In 2017, President Trump said he fired national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying. Now, Trump is blaming the FBI for Flynn’s statements. (Video: JM Rieger/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Democrats responded to the long-anticipated pardon with outrage. In a lengthy statement, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Flynn had chosen “loyalty to Trump over loyalty to his country” and that Trump’s decision to was intended to insulate himself from criminal investigation. He called that a “corruption of the Framer’s intent” in giving the president broad pardon powers.

It’s no surprise that Trump would go out just as he came in – crooked to the end,” Schiff said.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold R. Nadler (D-NY) called the pardon “undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy.”

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the pardon.

Rather than immediately accept that, however, District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who has overseen the case, signaled that he wished to explore whether the Justice Department had acted properly and if Flynn was being given special treatment because he is an ally of the president.

Flynn objected to Sullivan’s handling of the case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the judge did not have to immediately grant the Justice Department’s request to drop the matter.

Trump’s pardon shortcuts Sullivan’s ongoing review. The Justice Department will no longer be able to pursue charges against Flynn for lying to the FBI, even after President-elect Joe Biden and his new attorney general take over next year.

An intelligence expert who served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn, 61, was a prominent adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, famously leading crowds in chanting “lock her up” regarding Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

After Trump was elected, he designated Flynn to serve as his national security adviser. In that role, Flynn conducted a series of meetings and phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office. Among the topics the two discussed were new sanctions that were imposed on Russia by President Barack Obama on Dec. 29, 2016, in response to Russia’s interference in the election. Declassified transcripts of the call show that Flynn and Kislyak spoke that day, and Flynn asked that Russia not respond aggressively to Obama’s move or escalate the conflict.

The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would take no action in reaction to the new sanctions, flummoxing officials in Washington.

The reason for the move, however, was made clear in a phone call from Kislyak to Flynn on Dec. 31, in which the Russian envoy told Flynn his views had been “taken into account” at the Kremlin and were the reason for the muted Russian reaction.

When Flynn was asked 24 days later by two FBI agents whether he discussed the sanctions with Kislyak, he told the agents that he did not remember doing so. In pleading guilty, he told the court he knew this was not true.

After a Washington Post columnist reported in January 2017 that Flynn had spoken to Kislyak on the day the sanctions were announced, Vice President Pence and other officials publicly said they had been assured by Flynn that he had not discussed the topic with the Russian ambassador.

Justice Department officials warned the White House that Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI. After that, Flynn acknowledged privately to Trump that he may have discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Trump’s top aides concluded they did not think Flynn could have forgotten the conversation and concluded he had lied. Flynn was then forced to resign from his post.

The Whole Story

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Letter to the Editor – Another Stark Reminder – 11/28/20

This is another stark reminder of what a loose cannon Trump is. I happen to specialize in Applications for Pardons, and Flynn does not even qualify to apply for a Pardon using the normal process. With the normal process, one must have completed one’s sentence and been off of probation or home confinement for at least 5 years before applying, except for “good cause shown”.  See Rule 3 of Federal Pardon Rules. There certainly can be no “good cause” for this criminal, who admitted his crimes to two federal judges!  Flynn was charged only in 2017! But no, no normal process is needed because Trump abuses his pardon power by pardoning his political buddies.

This sends a terrible and troubling message: it is ok to lie to the FBI about national security matters; there will be no serious consequences for this crime!

Trump no doubt will pardon more of his cronies before he is gone, but thank God that he will be gone, and incapable of doing such harm to one of our most cherished and respected world-wide principles: the Rule of Law.

Ken Abraham, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, former Deputy Attorney General, Dover, DE 302-423-4067