As Ed pointed out this morning, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone at this point. The DOJ has been trying to drop the case against Flynn for months and Judge Sullivan has been refusing to do so. Moments ago, President Trump announced a full pardon for Gen. Flynn on Twitter:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2020
Because this just happened a few minutes ago there aren’t many stories up about it yet but there are already lots of reactions on Twitter. Not surprisingly, the left is not pleased:
It’s a great dishonor to our country to watch traitors pardoning traitors.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) November 25, 2020
Some variation on this theme is being reused by a lot of people:
A crook pardoning another crook. https://t.co/8BGYDvUJnt
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) November 25, 2020
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) November 25, 2020
One criminal pardoning another- what a surprise…
You are a pathetic small handed, small brained, small etc , empty soul man… https://t.co/TEkEuCSX4g
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) November 25, 2020
You both are two of the biggest traitors in US history, so this makes sense.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 25, 2020
Nothing great about this. Nothing honorable about this. Just the last gasp of a corrupt man on his way out. https://t.co/dpSQQsfP3s
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 25, 2020
On the other hand, folks on the right are celebrating:
Happy Thanksgiving to General Flynn and the Flynn Family. The way this war hero and his family were treated by the Government of the US, the deep state, and democrats has been a repulsive injustice. After 4 years of hell, they can rebuild their lives. This can never happen again. https://t.co/xKjFLQXUr6
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 25, 2020
Justice for General Flynn! https://t.co/5HMKhRjK4Y
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 25, 2020
100% the right call to pardon General Michael Flynn.
He shouldn’t have ever been targeted like this in the first place.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 25, 2020
Earlier today Jonathan Turley suggested that Judge Sullivan’s behavior in this case could be grounds for a pardon:
From the outset, Sullivan’s handling of the case was unsettling and irregular. This should have been a simple sentencing on a simple criminal count. After all, Flynn cooperated with federal prosecutors and even uncooperative witnesses like Alex Van Der Zwaan received only 30 days in prison on a similar charge. However, in his first sentencing hearing, Sullivan blew up the proceedings with a bizarre diatribe. Using the flag in court as a prop, Sullivan falsely accused Flynn of being an “unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser” who sold his country out. Sullivan even suggested Flynn should have been charged with treason, then suggested he might ignore any recommendations and send Flynn to jail when he declared, “I cannot assure you that if you proceed today, you will not receive a sentence of incarceration. I am not hiding my disgust and my disdain.”…
Sullivan’s conduct led a D.C. panel to order him to dismiss the case, in a scathing decision over his handling and the briefing of Gleeson. At the time, I wrote that the panel should be reversed because Sullivan had not issued a final decision. Later the D.C. Circuit reached the same conclusion and, without endorsing the conduct of Sullivan, sent the case back for final decision for Sullivan to do the right thing.
Judge Sullivan was given a chance to drop the case but refused and instead dragged it out, perhaps hoping a Biden win would lead to the DOJ reversing itself. Turley, concluded “the only basis for a pardon in this case that is stronger than the conduct of defendant is the conduct of the judge.” After Trump’s announcement, Turley added that it should never have come to this:
Trump just pardoned Flynn. This should not have been an issue since the DOJ asked many months ago for the case to be dropped. Sullivan's continued refusal to issue a final decision forced the issue. https://t.co/XQiMz3tUkq
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 25, 2020
The NY Times’ take on the whole affair is here. Predictably, it fails to apply any real scrutiny to the claimed goals of the FBI in interviewing Flynn at the behest of disgraced anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok. The fact that they did it without notifying the White House Counsel is only mentioned in passing. There’s also no mention of the fact that a possible violation of the Logan Act was one of reasons floated for going after Flynn, despite the fact that the Logan Act has never been successfully used to convict anyone. Again, here’s Jonathan Turley from earlier this year:
When Strzok overruled the career prosecutors and investigators to keep open the investigation, he immediately raised the Logan Act as a possible way to charge Flynn. We previously learned that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates also raised the Logan Act as a possible charge, and we know that McCabe pushed the Logan Act in the absence of any other crime…
The new material shows that former FBI Director James Comey also raised the Logan Act, with President Obama, in discussing FBI surveillance of Flynn. In one meeting, Justice Department officials were surprised that Obama already knew of the surveillance even though Yates was not aware of the facts. One document states, “Yates had no idea what the president was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act.”
This case was a crock from the start and Flynn would never have been treated this way if not for the partisanship of the agents involved. It’s a shame he had to be pardoned at all. The case should have been dismissed months ago. But the resistance partisanship from Judge Sullivan made this the only possible outcome.