The pardon of Michael Flynn was anticipated, as was the pardon of Roger Stone, and for pretty much the same reasons: they were done as a ha ha, up yours display, in contradiction of the rule of law, which is what you would expect from an authoritarian shill like Donald Trump. They were also signals that if you’re useful to Trump, you walk. Therefore, it’s bemusing that the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board has taken pen in hand to decry Flynn’s “persecution” and praise Trump for pardoning him. They go on about “unjustified prosecution” and “judicial abuse.” It’s only five paragraphs, but it’s one hell of a harangue.
The FBI and Justice pursued him though they knew there was no basis for an investigation. They coerced a plea of lying to the FBI though the interviewing agents thought he was telling the truth. A later re-examination ordered by Attorney General Bill Barr found that Justice and the FBI had withheld exculpatory evidence. Former FBI director James Comey crowed about how the bureau took advantage of the unsuspecting Mr. Flynn and a trusting White House to have his agents interview him without courtesies normally extended to criminals.
Justice finally moved to dismiss the charges this year, but then federal Judge Emmet Sullivan opted for political revenge by refusing to agree to the dismissal. He even tried to investigate the case himself—an extraordinary intrusion by a court into the executive branch’s prosecutorial power. His obvious goal was to stall long enough for a Biden Administration to take power and reinstate the charges. What a disgraceful performance.
Mr. Flynn should have been vindicated in court, but Judge Sullivan was never going to give him a fair hearing. A pardon was the only avenue left to prevent Mr. Flynn from more years of punishment. Congratulations to Mr. Trump for sparing an innocent man who served his country well but was ill-served by too many of his countrymen.
Meanwhile, back in Reality, where people try to keep at least one foot on the ground, here’s how Trump’s opening round in the anticipated pardon festival was received.
Even the Supreme Leader, himself said Flynn lied https://t.co/uMPLksayLX
— Deez 4 Democracy (@BackDeez) November 26, 2020
Remember the time Flynn got together with some friends and discussed taking cash to kidnap and send to his death a dissident cleric?
The GOP owns that too. https://t.co/Jk7ms63IAS
— Ted Kalo (@tedward23) November 25, 2020
And here’s more about what a totally great guy Flynn is. Selling nuclear reactors to the Saudis, remember that? When he went there with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner?
Remember the time Flynn tried to transfer nuclear tech to the Saudi’s & was caught literally texting about it during the inauguration & nothing was done about that either? Good timeshttps://t.co/NJglPimGt7
— scjo (@sassiscjo) November 25, 2020
In Trump’s world, the innocent are persecuted and the guilty are pardoned. A fitting coda to a rotten presidency.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) November 25, 2020
That is because in his world, the normal dichotomies do not apply. There is not right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, fair and unfair, true and false, legal and illegal. There is only in favor of Trump and everything else.
— Nance Lee (@NanceLeeM) November 25, 2020
And you’ll be happy to hear that Trump is working with Jared on a possible “blitz” of pardons and commuted sentences between now and January 20. It’s to be expected, under the principle of garbage in, garbage out, crooked in, crooked pardoned.