President Trump plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts with the former Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential transition – only to have the Justice Department drop the case after Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, fought for the release of information suggesting that the FBI laid a ‘perjury trap‘ to try and get him to lie.
The ‘deep state’ judge in the case, Emmet G. Sullivan, refused to drop the case, and has instead asked a federal appeals court – twice – whether he can ignore the DOJ, after asking a government-paid private lawyer to argue against Flynn.
The rumored pardon, reported by Axios, will be “part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office,” as is typical of outgoing presidents.
That said, according to Fox News’ Greg Jarrett, Flynn doesn’t want a pardon. “He wanted full exoneration and the case dismissed,” adding that “it’s clear” that presiding judge Emmett Sullivan is trying to ‘run out the clock’ until Biden takes office, and recommends Trump go through with a pardon.
Fox News's Gregg Jarrett says just now Michael Flynn "doesn't want a pardon. He wanted full exoneration and the case dismissed." He goes on to say "it's clear" the presiding judge, Emmet Sullivan, is trying to run out the clock till Biden takes office and says Trump should pardon
— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) November 25, 2020
As Axios notes, a Flynn pardon would come on the heels of Trump commuting the sentence of longtime associate Roger Stone, who Trump said was unfairly targeted as part of a political ‘witch hunt.’
According to FBI documents released in Flynn’s case, senior FBI officials discussed strategies for targeting and setting up Flynn, prior to interviewing him at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017. It was that interview at the White House with former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka that led Flynn, now 61, to plead guilty after months of pressure by prosecutors, financial strain and threats to prosecute his son.