Democratic leaders wreathed President Trump on Wednesday for pardoning Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser, condemning the move as an “brazen” abuse of power.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California) said Trump’s act was “serious corruption” and said Flynn should be “held accountable” for “serious and dangerous violations of our national security.”
“President Trump has pardoned Michael Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI over his dealings with a foreign adversary, serious corruption and abusive abuse of power,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Trump is once again using his power of grace to protect those who lie to cover up his transgressions.
After months of speculation, Trump announced in a tweet on Wednesday the decision to pardon his first national security adviser, who twice pleaded guilty to deliberately making false statements to the FBI during a conversation with the then-Russian ambassador.
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Flynn later worked to drop his guilty charge in January 2020. In May, the Department of Justice (DOJ), after initially defending the prosecution, changed its position and began pursuing the charges against it. His legal case has stalled since U.S. District Court Judge Emet Sullivan resisted the DOJ’s request and appointed a judge to decide whether Flynn should be held with criminal contempt for perjury.
“This‘ grace of innocence ’is historic, sincerely esteemed and can never happen again in our country,” Flynn tweeted on Thursday, resigning from his administrative post in February 2017. “I will issue a personal statement later today … Thank you America. Happy Thanksgiving.”
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Adam House Schiff, of D-California, who played a key role in last year’s Trump home complaint, stated that Flynn’s grace is consistent with the president repeatedly abusing the power of grace to “reward friends and protect those who put him up.”
“This time he pardons Michael Flynn, who lied to hide his ties with the Russians. Not surprisingly, Trump comes out when he comes in – the end of the curve,” Schiff tweeted.
Jerry Nadler, president of the House Justice, DN.Y., echoed that feeling and called Flynn’s grace “unworthy,” “unprincipled,” and “another stain” on Trump’s “rapidly dwindling legacy.”
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“This grace is part of a pattern. We have seen it earlier in the Roger Stone case – where President Trump gave a pardon to protect a person who could have criminalized the president,” he wrote in a statement. “We can see it again before President Trump finally leaves office. These acts constitute a misuse of power and fundamentally undermine the rule of law.”