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Politics Trump Pardoned Flynn to Save Himself

02:40  26 november  2020
02:40  26 november  2020 Source:   theatlantic.com

President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden

  President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden Trump has been mostly out of view since Election Day but is working: He is purging staff and pursuing actions designed in part to irk Joe Biden.President Donald Trump has stayed mostly out of public view in the two weeks since his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. On nine of the 14 days since the Nov. 3 election, his daily schedule has been summed up in a single sentence: “The president has no public events scheduled" – the longest he has been out of public view since taking office in January 2017.

Donald Trump has pardoned Michael Flynn , his first national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with a Russian official. Debate also swirls about whether Trump will try to pardon himself – a move that would be historically unusual, but which if successful could only

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!

Here’s the first and most important thing to understand about the crime for which President Trump just pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn: Flynn did not lie to protect himself. He lied to protect Donald Trump.

a man wearing a hat and sunglasses © Patrick Semansky / AP

At the end of December 2016, Flynn had a series of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. A month later, on January 24, 2017, Flynn was asked about those conversations by the FBI agent Peter Strzok.

In the first set of conversations, Flynn urged Kislyak to oppose a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. The second set occurred a week later, while Flynn was on holiday in the Dominican Republic. There, Flynn sought to convince Kislyak to persuade the Russian government not to retaliate against the United States, over a round of sanctions punishing Russia for intervening in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump.

Trump Pardons His Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for Lying to FBI

  Trump Pardons His Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for Lying to FBI President Trump said Wednesday he had pardoned Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser, declaring it a “Great Honor” just in time for Thanksgiving. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” the outgoing president 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!” the outgoing president tweeted.It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon.

If the president chooses to pardon Michael Flynn , that is only going to help Michael Flynn ,” he concluded. “It’s not necessarily going to help the people about whom Michael Flynn Tiffany Trump had a rough week in the press after being outed for her superspreader birthday event in Miami, Florida.

Trump supporters have argued that the president should also pardon himself . President Donald Trump has reportedly discussed plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn — who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian diplomat — as

[Mark Osler: The Flynn pardon is a despicable use of an awesome power]

From Flynn’s own narrow personal point of view, there was no reason to lie about any of these conversations. Yes, he was pushing the limits a little bit, doing diplomacy before the new administration took office. A more elegant diplomat would have found a way to honor the rule that there’s only one administration at a time, while also communicating what he wanted the Russians to know about the differing intentions of the incoming administration. But such limit-pushing has surely happened often before in the history of American foreign policy. All Flynn had to say to avoid legal jeopardy was, “Yes, I spoke to Ambassador Kislyak. Possibly I was premature. My bad.”

President Trump pardons ex-natl security adviser Michael Flynn; ends three-year legal odyssey

  President Trump pardons ex-natl security adviser Michael Flynn; ends three-year legal odyssey Michael Flynn pleaded guilty three years ago to lying about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. While awaiting sentencing, he sought to withdraw his plea by claiming that he was entrapped by federal investigators. That move was followed early this year by the Justice Department's abrupt decision to abandon the prosecution, prompting a federal judge to challenge Justice's decision. Flynn was awaiting a ruling in the case by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan when Trump issued the pardon.

Flynn will be among a series of pardons that Trump plans to grant before his term in office ends, multiple sources were reported as saying by Axios and the New York Times. Flynn admitted lying to the FBI about his contact with the former Russian ambassador to the US, and became a cooperating

Trump softened toward Flynn following his departure from the White House, using him to paint the Mueller investigation as a hoax. “It’s important to talk about why the President pardoned Flynn ,” Nadler continued. “President Trump dangled this pardon to encourage Flynn to backtrack on his

So why didn’t he say that?

Flynn did not attend the notorious Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, arranged on the promise that the Russian government would deliver dirt about Hillary Clinton. He was not part of Roger Stone’s conversations with Donald Trump in which, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded, Stone discussed a back channel to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He was not aware of Paul Manafort’s sharing of Trump-campaign data with Konstantin Kilimnik.

Flynn had dubious dealings of his own to cover up, yes. He had failed to register as an agent of the Turkish government as he should have. But that omission—and Flynn’s lies about it—only became an issue after Flynn was caught lying about the Kislyak conversations. In the end, Flynn was never charged for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Maybe Flynn lied because he had a long, bad habit of lying. He admitted in court documents that he lied to the FBI about his Turkish work. When his security clearance was up for renewal in 2016, Flynn lied to investigators about his famous December 2015 trip to Moscow, claiming that it was paid for by U.S. businesses, when in fact it was paid for by the Russian state.

Trump pardons Michael Flynn, former national security advisor who admitted lying to FBI

  Trump pardons Michael Flynn, former national security advisor who admitted lying to FBI President Donald Trump's first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, has tried to undo his guilty plea for more than a year.The pardon came before a judge had ruled on a pending motion by the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss the case and Flynn's guilty plea. Flynn had twice admitted to a federal judge that he made false statements to FBI agents about the nature of his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

First it was Corn, now it's Michael Flynn .President Trump is telling people close to him that he plans on pardoning his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn , two people familiar with the matter told Axios.

Flynn was widely seen as a likely candidate for a presidential pardon during Trump 's lame-duck period. President Donald Trump has told close aides he intends to pardon his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn , according to reports that first emerged in Axios on Tuesday.

But the lie about his conversation with Kislyak was a different kind. In all those previous lies, the truth would have been damaging to Flynn. When Flynn talked to Strzok in January 2017, the truth would have been at worst embarrassing, a confession of clumsiness rather than culpable wrongdoing. So again: Why lie?

That’s a question answered by another question. Why did Attorney General Jeff Sessions misrepresent his conversations with Kislyak when asked about them during his confirmation hearings in January 2017? Like Flynn, Sessions was not involved with Trump’s other contacts with Russia. Unlike Flynn, Sessions did not have a track record of lying. Quite the contrary. Sessions is a punctilious man, attentive to the law and careful of his reputation. And yet when asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee whether he had communicated with the Russian government, Sessions replied that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”

One potential answer, I would propose, is that Sessions and Flynn lied about their conversations with Kislyak precisely because they were not in the loop on Trump’s other contacts with Russia. They knew that the swirling Trump-Russia scandal was lethally radioactive. They did not know exactly where the radioactivity was centered. They lied to protect the group secret, without themselves knowing what the group secret was. They lied about their own contacts with the Russian ambassador because they intuited that there was some terrible truth about Russia that Trump would want concealed. And because they did not know that truth, they lied extravagantly and excessively, when a guiltier person might have lied more strategically and precisely.

Trump Was Right to Pardon Michael Flynn

  Trump Was Right to Pardon Michael Flynn The FBI’s conduct in its investigation of the president’s former national security adviser was inexcusable.Barnett, who was the bureau’s case agent on the Flynn investigation, was interviewed as part of U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Jensen’s review of that probe. In May, the Justice Department dropped its prosecution of Flynn for making false statements to the FBI regarding his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition in 2016. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing that case, has taken the unusual position of not allowing the prosecution to drop its case, leaving Flynn in legal limbo for the last six months.

[David Frum: The secrets Flynn was desperate to conceal]

That’s all old news now. But the old news has become urgently relevant again with Trump’s pardon of Flynn on the afternoon of the Wednesday before Trump’s final Thanksgiving as president. Flynn lied to protect Trump. He surely did not know what specifically he was protecting Trump against. But here’s what Flynn did know: Trump wanted to undo the sanctions President Obama had imposed on Russia. That mission would be made easier if Russia did not escalate in response to the Obama sanctions. Flynn sensed that Trump’s preferred Russia policy was based on motives that everybody around Trump recognized as dangerous, even if they could not quite define where the danger lay. So when asked by the FBI about the conversation, Flynn acted like a man aware of a terrible secret that must be concealed at all costs. Trump is now pardoning Flynn to reward him for that concealment, as Trump has already commuted Roger Stone’s sentence, to reward him for his lying. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was much more thickly involved in Trump’s dealings with Russia than Flynn. But he stopped lying, so, as of yet, there is no pardon for him.

A big question mark hovers over the head of Paul Manafort, the man most deeply implicated of all. Manafort has kept his mouth firmly closed. His silence helped defeat Robert Mueller’s investigation, limiting its effort to determine what, precisely, transpired between Trump and Russia. On trial and in prison, Manafort has not talked. Is his reward from Trump coming?

For Trump advocate Sidney Powell, a playbook steeped in conspiracy theories

  For Trump advocate Sidney Powell, a playbook steeped in conspiracy theories The appellate lawyer has emerged as a key voice on the far right, fueling skepticism that Joe Biden rightfully won presidential contests in key battleground states. Fast forward two decades — through a bitter case she says shook her faith in the U.S. justice system — and there was Powell at a lectern at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee, introduced as an attorney representing President Trump.

The president’s pardon power has traditionally been thought to be absolute. Trump’s pardons of provocateurs like former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Fox News talking head Dinesh D’Souza, and military personnel accused of war crimes stirred furious criticism, but no one denied the pardons’ validity. But Trump’s pardon of Flynn for lying to protect him, his commutation of the sentence of Roger Stone, and the even more outrageous pardons perhaps still to come? Those raise different questions. Trump is offering clemency to people who each, in varying degrees, had and still have his fate in their hands. As he pardons them, he is presumably thinking not of justice to others, but of safety for himself.

And worse may be pending, should Trump follow these self-protecting pardons with an attempt at a self-pardon. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule whether a self-pardon is valid. Enough legal scholars argue that it would not be that Trump’s attorneys should worry that a self-pardon won’t stick. But if Trump can buy silence with his pardons of others, he might not even need to pardon himself. The thing we do know for certain is that an administration that began amid charges of conspiracy is ending with an effort at obstruction.

Can Trump pardon himself? What's a preemptive pardon? Experts explain the sweeping power .
Legal experts answer some of the most common questions about what Donald Trump can and cannot do with the broad pardon powers of the president.This question has been percolating since at least 2018 when the special counsel investigation on Russian election interference was well underway and some of Trump's closest aides, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, had been indicted.

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This is interesting!