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The Flynn Pardon. Was it Wise for Trump?

Post #144, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn retired from the Army with a commendable reputation. He sought to bring political prospects his military industrial complex experience and knowledge. He and his son formed a Washington based lobbying and consulting firm that drew the country of Turkey as an early client. Choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, General Flynn cast his lot with Trump and got caught up in fervor to "lock Hillary up." That chant and behavior was out of character for the General, but he was singled out by Trump as a military cheerleader for their campaign.

Flynn seemed to become a different person with Trump, lying to the FBI about his representation of Turkey and contacts with Russia. Critics said he was set up by the FBI without an attorney present. Subsequently, Special FBI Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Flynn for his crime with the FBI and Flynn confessed his guilt, repeatedly under oath. It is hard to imagine a person of General Flynn's experiences operating so long without legal counsel, but that is essentially what his attorney says today. Trump fired the General as National Security Advisor from the Administration, because he lied to the Vice President.

During Trump's four year term, it was widely reported that General Flynn was witness to various alleged crimes committed by the President, so rumors of a pardon became routine. Trump's Attorney General Bill Barr surprised everyone by saying that Flynn's conviction (to which Flynn confessed) should be thrown out by the court on a technicality. It was Barr's Agency, the Justice Department that brought the original charges, making the Administration look like it did not know what it was doing. Flynn's attorney Sidney Powell worked with Barr to get the conviction overturned by the Court.

After the 2020 election, Trump hired former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the same Sidney Powell to challenge the election. Powell offered outlandish and absurd accusations about the election including against the Republicans in Georgia. Trump knew he could not pardon Flynn now because of his glaring conflict--Powell represented Trump and Flynn. So on November 24 th Trump fired Powell and the next day Trump pardoned Flynn. It was apparent that Flynn would not have time to overturn his conviction with Trump leaving office in January. A pardon was his only hope of avoiding jail time.

Since a pardon presumes guilt, Flynn loses his case to clear his name as he accepts a pardon. Worse for Trump, if Congress does subpoena Flynn on charges against Trump or his family, Flynn has lost his 5th Amendment protection. Was the pardon worth potential contempt jail time for the General? But the real loser in the pardon may very well be President Trump.



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