“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” President Trump tweeted Wednesday. “I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving.” According to a White House statement, the pardon ends “the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man” and Flynn “should never have been prosecuted.”
The retired general, who formerly headed the Defense Intelligence Agency, was Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor. Flynn was a hardliner against Islamic terrorism and an open critic of former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. True to form, Flynn fell afoul of the previous administration.
According to revelations from outgoing DNI Richard Grenell, UN ambassador Samantha Power made unmasking requests for Flynn on November 30, 2016, and then on December 2, 7, and 14 and again on January 11, 2017, days before Trump took office. On December 14 and 15 of 2016, CIA boss John Brennan made unmasking requests for Gen. Flynn. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper put in requests on December 12, 28, and again on January 7, 2017.
FBI director James Comey requested to unmask Gen. Flynn on December 15, 2016, and again on January 12, 2017. On January 12, 2017, vice president Joe Biden made his request to unmask the general. As these requests confirm, General Flynn had become a primary target of the Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor operations against President Trump.
As the Democrat-deep state-media axis contended, Russian intervention had put Trump in the White House. That conspiracy theory does not emerge in transcripts of the December 2016 Flynn-Kislyak calls, and as they confirm, Flynn was simply doing his job. FBI boss James Comey, who had declined to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton in 2016, sent FBI agents to entrap Flynn.
“What is our goal?” read one agent’s notes. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and his case landed with judge Emmett Sullivan. Revelations of deep state misconduct continued to emerge and in May of 2020, the Department of Justice dropped the case against Flynn “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
Judge Sullivan opposed the dismissal and appointed former federal judge John Gleeson to argue for Flynn’s continued prosecution.” Gleeson threatened to have Flynn prosecuted for criminal contempt on the theory that, if he was now claiming innocence, he must have committed perjury when he pled guilty.
Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell appealed and in June a three-judge panel agreed with Flynn. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected Gen. Michael Flynn’s petition for dismissal and voted 8-2 to send the case back to judge Emmet Sullivan. That month Flynn’s attorneys filed documents with the court showing that FBI agents knew the case was bogus. As one wrote, “if this thing ever gets FOIA’d, there are going to be some tough questions asked.”
“There was no case against General Flynn,” his attorneys concluded. “There was no crime. The FBI and the prosecutors knew that. This American hero and his entire family have suffered for four years from public abuse, slander, libel, and all means of defamation at the hands of the very government he pledged his life to defend. For these reasons and all those previously briefed, the Government’s Motion to Dismiss should now be granted with prejudice.” It wasn’t.
Judge Sullivan was not disqualified and did not recuse himself. Sullivan duly pushed the case past the November election but before the judge could issue a ruling, President Trump granted Flynn a full pardon. Democrats responded in predictable style, still smoldering from the failed Russia hoax, long after special counsel Robert Mueller found no collusion.
“Trump has once again abused the pardon power to reward Michael Flynn, who chose loyalty to Trump over loyalty to his country,” said Adam Schiff in a statement. For Jerry Nadler the pardon was “undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy.” And so on.
At this writing, nothing on the pardon has appeared from Joe Biden, who unmasked Gen. Flynn and suggested using the 1799 Logan Act to keep open the investigation of the general. That recalls the larger back story still in play.
The previous president deployed the upper reaches of the FBI, DOJ and intelligence community to exonerate his chosen successor Hillary Clinton and attack candidate and President Trump. The ensuing Russia hoax, Ukraine hoax, and impeachment bid, were part of a coup against President Trump.
None of the major players has been prosecuted, and James Comey and Peter Strzok have written self-serving books. For their part, Democrats are acting as though the charges of Russian collusion were true. Witness Adam Schiff’s charge that the foreign entanglements of Hunter Biden were part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
It will be interesting to see what the newly pardoned Gen. Flynn has to say about the Democrats bid to take down a duly elected president of the United States.