Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, President Trump issued a full pardon to retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served for a short time as the president’s first national security adviser.
Flynn had been caught up in a trap laid by the Obama administration between the Trump election in 2016 and his taking office in 2017, which involved the false claim that Trump acted as an agent of Russia.
During this time, Flynn had legal communications with officials from foreign countries, including the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
As explained by Andrew C. McCarthy, former assistant United States attorney for the southern district of New York, who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and 11 others for their involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other planned terrorist attacks:
Although there was no evidence that Flynn was either a clandestine agent of Russia (which could have been the proper basis for a counterintelligence investigation), or had committed any penal offense (which could have predicated a proper criminal investigation), FBI Director James Comey dispatched two agents to interview Flynn at the White House on January 24, 2017 — Flynn’s first full day as national security adviser.
… Plainly, the interview was a perjury trap …
In my view, the objective was, at a minimum, to get Flynn fired or otherwise sidelined from any involvement in the Russia investigation. The FBI’s overarching plan, initiated by the Obama administration, was to continue investigating the bogus Trump-Russia angle, in hope of developing a basis to impeach or prosecute President Trump. That would have been difficult to do with Flynn — an experienced official and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency — at the National Security Council helm.
Nevertheless, the interviewing agents concluded that Flynn did not lie.
Still, the “investigation” continued with charges brought up against Flynn by the Justice Department. After the FBI threatened to go after Flynn’s son for work he had done in Turkey, Flynn agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false statements to investigators.
Although the Justice Department got to the bottom of the scandal and eventually dropped the charges, the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, a Democratic activist, refused to stop the prosecution of Flynn. At one point, Sullivan suggested that Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, had committed treason.
Watch Ryan Mauro, director of the Clarion Intelligence Network and Shillman Fellow, react to President Trump’s pardoning of General Flynn on Fox: