Washington (AP) – US President Donald Trump has pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, exposing himself to the allegation of abuse of power.
“It is a great honor for me to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has received a full pardon,” Trump wrote on Twitter. The retired general was involved in the Russia affair over possible electoral influence from Russia. Leading Democrats in the U.S. Congress accused Trump of carefully undermining the rule of law.
The Republican was able to pardon other people before his term ends on January 20. Former presidents such as Barack Obama have exercised this right until their last day in office.
Flynn had served as a National Security Advisor in the White House for just a little over three weeks in 2017. He later admitted in the course of the investigation into possible Russian influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election that he lied to the FBI’s federal police force. He is also alleged to have lied to Vice President Mike Pence on this matter. Flynn was the only one to blame the investigation of the FBI’s special investigator Robert Mueller.
In January, Flynn filed a motion to retract his confession shortly before a verdict was expected in his trial. In May, in a highly unusual step, the Justice Department called for the proceedings to be terminated. It is not believed that Flynn’s January 2017 hearing was based on a legitimate investigation, it said among other things. Trump then praised Flynn as a “hero.”
The case was stuck in federal court following the controversial advance of the Justice Department. The judge responsible had not agreed to drop the allegations against Flynn.
The possibility of Trump pardoning his confidant has long been in the room. In March, the president announced that he would seriously consider “full pardon”. According to Trump, Flynn was treated unfairly by the judiciary and the FBI. He repeatedly complained that Flynn had been prosecuted by the judiciary. “You accused Flynn of lying and he wasn’t lying,” Trump said in an October interview. In his words, the Russia investigation was a pure “witch hunt”.
Before the Nov. 3 presidential election, the legal battle in the Flynn case came back on the agenda: Republicans attempted to mobilize supporters by portraying an establishment conspiracy against Trump.
Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany had a similar statement: “General Flynn does not need a pardon. He is an innocent man. He is said to be the “victim of partisan government officials” who sought to undermine the 2016 election. McEnany accused ex-President Barack Obama’s administration of foiling a “peaceful transfer of power” to his successor.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows described Flynn on Twitter as an “ American patriot. ” “What the left has done to him and his family over the past four years should never be allowed in America again.”
House spokeswoman Democrat Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of abuse of power on behalf of a convicted criminal: “Flynn’s actions were a serious and dangerous violation of our national security.” The pardon is further proof that Trump does not respect the rule of law.
Adam Schiff, chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee, wrote on Twitter, “Donald Trump has repeatedly abused his pardon to reward friends and protect those who have covered him.”