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.

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?

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.

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It’s no surprise that the WSJ’s editorial board would be all in favor of the pardon: The editorial board is a bunch of right-wing nut jobs who can’t find a single fault with anyone of the “R” variety.

Alfred Higgins

Only a single instance in the sordid pardon orgy yet to come!

William Bockemuehl

Those that have been pardoned can no longer take the 5th in a trial.
They will have to testify against Trump or will go to prison, with no turkey in the White House willing to pardon them.

Senovio Rodriguez

Yeah, maybe no. Only if Senate is 50-50… then no help from House or Senate, Legislative. No help from Joe and team, Executive. And from Judicial ????

Need out all pressure.

Annar Key

The RWNJWSJ conveniently forgets that a pardon is received only with acknowledgement of wrongdoing. If called to testify a recipient MUST appear and testify fully and truthfully. No 5th amendment rights. If you violate the terms the pardon can be voided and any applicable prosecution can go forward. And you have already admitted guilt. Odious Orange just shot himself in the face.

Jarvis Wellesley

Annar, this is great news! Does this apply to courts both federal & state?

p j evans

The younger Flynn took the Fifth in regard to his father’s trips abroad and other stuff. That seems to indicate he was involved.

dana fairfield

The WSJ used to be a pretty even-handed publication, but over the last few years its opinion side has been fully in Trump’s corner, parroting right wing spin time after time. So not a stunning editorial at all. You might as well pit them in the same pile with the Federalist, Breitbart, Townhall, Gateway Pundit, etc. etc.

priscianus jr
It was their news section that was even-handed; WSJ editorials were always very right wing, even long before Murdoch. The reason this editorial was a bit startling is that there had been a noticeable trend lately, at least on Fox, to be more independent of Trump. But your comment inspired me to check the archives, and it turns out that this editorial is entirely consistent with previous ones they have run about Flynn, such as So it looks like you are right. Frankly, I don’t understand why anybody would support a venal liar/traitor to their country, but hey,… Read more »