Pardon for Michael Flynn
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Started by metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 1:42 a.m.

Who thinks that this is the right thing to do?

Pardon for Michael Flynn under discussion at the White House

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 2:20 a.m.
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List of people pardoned or granted clemency by the president of the United States

This is a partial list of people pardoned or granted clemency by the President of the United States. The plenary power to grant a pardon or a reprieve is granted to the president of the United States by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution; the only limits mentioned in the Constitution are that pardons are limited to federal offenses, and that they cannot affect an impeachment process: "The president shall ... have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment".[1]

Though pardons have been challenged in the courts, and the power to grant them challenged by Congress, the Court has consistently declined to put limits on the president's discretion. The president can issue a full pardon, reversing a criminal conviction (along with its legal effects) as if it never happened. A pardon can be issued from the time an offense is committed, and can even be issued after the full sentence has been served. The president can issue a reprieve, commuting a criminal sentence, lessening its severity, its duration, or both while leaving a record of the conviction in place. Additionally, the president can make a pardon conditional, or vacate a conviction while leaving parts of the sentence in place, like the payment of fines or restitution.[1][2]

Approximately 20,000 pardons and commutations were issued by U.S. presidents in the 20th century alone.[citation needed] Pardons granted by presidents from George Washington until Grover Cleveland's first term (1885–89) were handwritten by the president; thereafter, pardons were prepared for the president by administrative staff requiring only that the president sign it.[3] The records of these presidential acts were openly available for public inspection until 1934. In 1981 the Office of the Pardon Attorney was created and records from President George H. W. Bush forward are now listed.[4]

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 2:24 a.m.
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No, Trump Can’t Pardon Himself — Here’s Why

Donald Trump’s presidency is finally coming to an end. But one important question — other than whether Trump can run again in 2024 — is whether he is allowed to pardon himself from the litany of legal investigations and civil suits he faces upon leaving office. In case you need a reminder, Trump is currently under investigation for insurance fraud, criminal tax evasion, grand larceny, and a scheme to defraud. He is also still being sued by writer E. Jean Carroll for rape.

In part, many believe that Trump's disproven claims of election fraud are just a ploy to run the clock that will eventually land him behind bars. So the question is, what kind of power does the president really have to pardon himself? According to Article II of the Constitution, a sitting president “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” That may sound like we have already answered the question; however, therein lies a small yet important technicality within that phrase that requires some unpacking. The operative word? Grant.

Because of this, we are actually asking the wrong question: It's not about whether Trump can pardon himself, but whether he can grant himself a pardon. This may sound like the exact same question but bear with us. According to context clues from the text of the Constitution and the word’s meaning at the time it was written, the answer is no. He cannot pardon himself. The president only has the power to grant pardons. For context, the same word appears multiple times in various clauses of the Constitution. Every time the word appears, "grant" is a transmissive term meaning it is from one entity to another, reportsThe Atlantic. It is not used reflexively as in “to grant oneself” a pardon — it is always used interpersonally. 

Comparing a word to its uses in other instances within a historical or legal document is a common technique used by judges and legal scholars to surmise the intended meaning in context. If a court were to base its judgment solely on the context of the word in the Constitution, it would be reasonable to determine that the president cannot, in fact, grant himself a pardon. 

But it probably wouldn’t be that simple. One of the most common legal interpretive methods, promoted by Justice Antonin Scalia and popularized among conservatives, is to look for a term’s “original public meaning.” This would involve looking at how everyday English speakers in the late 1700s would have understood the word should they have read it in a legal document. 

To get an answer, one would have to look through legal dictionaries of the time. The most popular legal dictionary at the end of the 18th century was The Law-Dictionary: Explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the English Law; Defining and Interpreting the Terms or Words of Art; and Comprising Copious Information on the Subjects of Law, Trade, and Government (give us a second to catch our breath). In it, the word grant has the singular definition of meaning “a deed which passes or conveys land from one man to another.” (Zoom in on “to another.”) Nowhere in that dictionary does it say that a person could grant something to themselves. Furthermore, the idea of a reflexive use of the term reportedly didn’t exist in popular language at the time. 

So based on context clues from the original document, legal dictionaries in use at the time, and the development of the English language in the last few centuries, the seemingly inconsequential word “grant” might have just kept us away from an even more complicated end to Trump’s presidency. 

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 2:28 a.m.
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I like this explanation better:

Can A U.S. President Pardon Himself for Crimes?

First, a president can’t be prosecuted for crimes federally while in office, so a pardon would only be of legal significance after he left office.

Second, a president can pardon an individual at any point, including before the person is charged with a crime.

Third, a pardon provides legal immunity from criminal liability for some action, and the pardon must be presented to a court. At that point, a court would have to rule whether to accept the pardon as valid. Given the untested nature of this question, it may well be the Supreme Court deciding whether the President (or former President by that time) can pardon himself.

Fourth, a presidential pardon does not immunize anyone from criminal prosecution by any of the fifty states. The president can only pardon federal crimes. For example, the Florida attorney general could still prosecute Trump for tax fraud even if Trump received a presidential pardon.

According to fifteen legal experts, though, the Constitution isn’t clear about this. Clearly,  this is just not a situation the framers expected. Moreover, no President has ever tried it, not even Nixon. Most of the experts believe if he did try to pardon himself, it would be both an admission of guilt and create a potential constitutional crisis. Certainly, there is also a common-law rule that a person cannot serve as a judge in his own case, but the exact question of a President pardoning himself has never been before the federal courts.

However, even if Trump could not legally pardon himself, he would likely just make a deal with his successor (President Pence?) to obtain a pardon after he left office, just as Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.

Can President Trump Pardon His Family Members, Aides, and Associates?

Yes. There is no doubt that President Trump could pardon his family members and aides for federal crimes. The most obvious reason for issuing pardons now would not be to protect any of the key people from prosecution or prison, but to limit Mueller’s leverage over them as witnesses against Trump.

metmike: An interesting element to these stories is the assumption that President Trump committed all these crimes and after he is no long president will be in huge trouble. 

But nobody can list a specific crime. Yes, they say Mueller found all sorts of stuff.

Well, tell us exactly what the crimes were.

And he broke laws regarding his taxes..........but nobody can show that and I would bet that his high paid tax attorneys filed everything and did almost 100% of the work. It's unlikely that they broke laws. So the worst that would happen, even  if they found his tax preparers did something shady is that he would have to pay the taxes owed and a fine.

I doubt he ordered them to cheat on his taxes and they would testify to that which is the main way that he would face potential federal charges and prison time on his taxes.

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 2:56 a.m.
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Sort of reminds me of the 2.5 years of the Mueller investigation.

Every day for many hundreds of days and much of the day we heard and read about the crimes that President Trump committed and would be held accountable for as soon as Mueller finished his investigation.

Man, he must have a ton of stuff, why else would it be taking 2.5 years to get all of it. All those people he was interviewing that were testifying against Trump and telling Mueller about all the bad stuff he did.

Then, with the suspense in the stratosphere, Mueller came out with his report. Holy Moly Trump never colluded with Russia! No crimes.

Well, the dems couldn't have that and they set up an interview in front of the world to question Mueller under oath before the House to get him to testify about some bad stuff that Trump must have done.

Holy Moly X 2.  Mueller appears to be a cerebrally challenged, confused guy who doesn't have anything on Trump and just made the entire investigation look bufoonish and political. 

So maybe all these speculative crimes that Trump is going to be charged with when he leaves office are just like the speculative crimes that Mueller was supposed to find.

By mcfarm - Nov. 25, 2020, 6:55 a.m.
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of course the pardon is the right thing to do. When you are fighting a corrupt judge who may be more challenged mentally than Biden you do that...... you fight.

by the way after all the crap the dems and Mueller pulled you might of missed the 250,000 in ads they took out on their way out of the door....after what? 30 million of tax payers money.

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 6:53 p.m.
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Any reasonable, objective person familiar with the facts would see this as the right thing

to do. Flynn was entrapped by corrupt investigators trying to get him to say things that would incriminate President Trump. His lies made no difference in the investigation.  He devoted his life to serve this country and did so honorably.  For them to treat him this way was pathetic.

Most of those that want him to go to prison, ironically, would be facing life in prison if they were held accountable for all the lies they have been telling us for years)-:

Trump Pardons Michael Flynn, Who Pleaded Guilty To Lying About Russia Contact

President Trump has pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who spent years enmeshed in an often bizarre legal war with the government that sprang from the Russia investigation.


Trump announced the news Wednesday on Twitter as Americans prepared to observe the Thanksgiving holiday this week.



The pardon brings an end to a long-running legal odyssey for Flynn, who was the only member of the Trump administration to be charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. 


Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and then cooperated extensively with prosecutors. But he ultimately reversed course and accused the government of trying to frame him.


Flynn went so far as to withdraw his first plea of guilty and substitute a second plea of not guilty, even though he'd acknowledged the underlying conduct that was against the law and been close to receiving a sentence.


The pardon drew condemnations from critics who've said Trump's actions to help his friends interfere with the justice system. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for example, who helped prosecute Trump at his impeachment, called the president's actions obviously corrupt.


metmike:  Here is what one of Washington's biggest liars and hypocrites had to say about the pardoning of Flynn for telling a couple of lies:


Flynn, about an hour and a half ahead of Trump's announcement, tweeted a Bible verse alluding to a holy rescue.



Trump's action on Wednesday may open the door to possible clemency for other former Trump advisers who were indicted as part of the Russia investigation, including Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman. 



Justice Department not consulted


The Justice Department was not consulted about the Flynn pardon in the way it often takes part in the preparation of presidential pardons, a department official said on Wednesday. The official described the situation on the condition the person not be identified.

metmike: Tough for the DOJ. If they would have been fair and honest, Flynn wouldn't be needing the pardon!!!

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 7 p.m.
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Previous discussions on Flynn:

                Gen Flynn open letter            

                            Started by wglassfo - Aug. 6, 2020, 5:50 p.m.    

 Good news for Flynn            


                Started by wglassfo - June 24, 2020, 10:30 a.m.


Previous discussions on Flynn:

                Flynn-Kislyak call transcripts released            

                           Started by metmike - May 29, 2020, 7:58 p.m.    



                            Started by metmike - May 14, 2020, 3:14 p.m.    

                Susan Rice email to herself            

                         Started by metmike - May 20, 2020, 2:11 p.m.  

                NBC "Meet the Press" Chuck Todd intentionally misquote Barr            

                            14 responses |         

                Started by TimNew - May 11, 2020, 9:13 a.m.    


                8 responses |              

                Started by metmike - April 30, 2020, 3:04 p.m.    

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 7:08 p.m.
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Just realized that in Wayne's first thread above, we never provided Flynn's letter he referred oversight on my part.

Mike Flynn Pens an Open Letter to America

The former national security adviser stops short of openly calling for rebellion, but urges Americans to take action to protect their nation.


In an open letter published by The Western Journal, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn writes that America as we have known is at stake and its people must stand up and take action to protect it.

Stopping just short of calling for open rebellion and revolution, the retired Army lieutenant general makes an urgent call to action. He wrote that “the biblical nature of good versus evil cannot be discounted as we examine what is happening on the streets of America,” adding:

"When the destiny of the United States is at stake, and it is, the very future of the entire world is threatened.

"As Christians, shouldn’t we act? We recognize that divine Providence is the ultimate judge of our destiny. Achieving our destiny as a freedom-loving nation, Providence compels us to do our part in our communities.

"It encourages us in this battle against the forces of evil to face our fears head-on. No enemy on earth is stronger than the united forces of God-fearing, freedom-loving people.

"We can no longer pretend that these dark forces are going to go away by mere prayer alone. Prayers matter, but action is required.

"This action is needed at the local, state and federal levels. Action is also required in the economic, media, clerical and ecclesiastical realms.

"Decide how you can act within your abilities. Stand up and state your beliefs. Be proud of who you are and what you stand for. And face, head-on, those community “leaders” who are willing to allow dark forces to go beyond peaceful protests and destroy and violate your safety and security.

"Churches and houses of worship must return to normal. We invite everyone of goodwill to not shirk their responsibilities and instead act in a fraternal fashion. If for no other reason or with no other ability, act in a spirit of charity.

“We cannot disrespect or disregard natural law along with our own religious liberties and freedoms.”

Good, he added, is always more powerful and will prevail over evil – which he suggests is the Marxists paricipants in the Antifa and Black Lives Matter “protests.” But he said evil may succeed for a time when “good people are divided from each other and their personal lives,” suggesting students must be reunited with their teachers, preachers with their congregations, and customers with their local businesses.

Click here to read the entire article:

By mcfarm - Nov. 25, 2020, 7:50 p.m.
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fair and impartial? relax everybody...we know right now there are honest fbi agents looking high and low at the pay for play the biden family has been involved in for decades. they just cannot seem to find it

By metmike - Nov. 25, 2020, 11:09 p.m.
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Trump pardons former national security advisor Michael Flynn

President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his first national security advisor who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials – the first of several clemency actions Trump is expected to take before he leaves office on Jan. 20.

“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!” Trump tweeted.

The president, who has consistently argued that his 2016 presidential victory was undermined by the FBI’s investigation into whether his campaign “colluded” with the Kremlin, is also reportedly weighing pardoning former campaign officials Paul Manafort and Carter Page.

He has already commuted the sentence of longtime political operative and confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing the House’s probe into whether Trump operatives cooperated with Russia before the 2016 election.

Trump commuted Stone in July, days before he was to begin serving a 40-month prison sentence.

Flynn, a former Army lieutenant general, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to FBI agents about the conversations he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn later tried to withdraw that plea ahead of sentencing, claiming he did not intentionally lie.

The president fired Flynn in February 2017 after it came to light that Flynn’s contact with Kislyak was concealed from Vice President Pence; he had been on the job for just 24 days.

According to the charges, Flynn denied that he privately asked Kislyak in December 2016 not to escalate the situation by retaliating against former President Obama’s tossing 35 Russian diplomats over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

The Justice Department last May intervened in Flynn’s case and said it should be dismissed, arguing that FBI agents had no reason to interview him and any lies he told were not material.

But a federal appeals court in Washington declined to order the dismissal.

In late April, Trump claimed that Flynn had been “essentially exonerated” of lying to the FBI after documents were released as part of a re-examination of his case showing the then-counterintelligence director of the bureau openly questioned whether the agency’s “goal” was to “get [Flynn] to lie.”

“He’s in the process of being exonerated if you looked at those notes from yesterday. That was total exoneration,” Trump said of the newly revealed information at the time. “These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI, and you know the names better than I do. And they were dishonest people.”

The president has issued 27 pardons and 11 commutations during his four years in office.

He pardoned former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The president has also talked about pardoning figures ranging from anti-surveillance NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.

By TimNew - Nov. 26, 2020, 7:29 a.m.
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He should not be pardoned,  he should be exonerated and the people responsible for railroading him should be prosecuted.   But we know that justice is a thing of the past in this brave new america,  so the best we can hope for is a pardon.

By mcfarm - Nov. 26, 2020, 8:10 a.m.
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Tim the problem is at the very top of that list of who should be prosecuted is none other than our first AA President. And that prosecution ain't never gonna happen. Why not? Is he guilty, hell yes. Did he put himself right smack in the middle of this miss, hell yes. he has protections that normal everyday Americans could never understand. He is elite. He is un touchable. Joj always come here wanting to talk about political liars. There has never been a larger one. Hopefully there will never be  larger one.

By joj - Nov. 26, 2020, 10:26 a.m.
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Flynn was taking money from the dictatorial government of Turkey for the purpose of extraditing an imam who was a legal resident of the US and was Erdogan's political opposition.  Erdogan probably would have jailed him for life or executed him.  To understand this injustice, imagine a US citizen who is a pastor and a Democratic president wants to throw him in jail for speaking out against him.   Flynn was for sale in that effort.  He didn't succeed.

They couldn't nail him on that crime so they went with the crime of lying to the FBI.

Sort of like when they couldn't get Al Capone on murder (even though he was guilty).  They got him on tax evasion.

I think the presidential pardon is an antiquated power.   Probably the founders in their reverence for the great George Washington could not foresee the manner in which it would become a political weapon 200 years hence.  

I expect every criminal loyal to president Trump to be pardoned.

By metmike - Nov. 26, 2020, 11:26 a.m.
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"They couldn't nail him on that crime so they went with the crime of lying to the FBI."

Thanks joj,

I'm not familiar with that situation, which doesn't seem related to the Mueller investigation on Russia. 

So that's how the DOJ operates then? If they don't have the evidence to get you on a crime legally, they entrap you to create a crime from a new investigation about something else(getting you to lie by giving the wrong answer to a question that they already know the answer to)  so they can get you that way.

Sort of a mockery of the justice system of "innocent until proven guilty" because instead in this case its really saying:

 "guilty...........and if I can't prove it........then I'll create a new crime from an investigation to get them"

Alan Dershowitz: Stone indictment follows concerning Mueller pattern

By Alan Dershowitz, opinion contributor      —      01/25/19

The indictment of former Donald Trump associate Roger Stone follows a long pattern that should raise serious concerns about the special counsel. Like virtually all of these indictments, this one does not charge any major crimes relating to Russia that were committed before the special counsel was appointed. It charges crimes that grew out of the investigation and were allegedly committed after Robert Mueller was appointed in 2017.

Recall that the primary job of the special counsel was to uncover crimes that had already occurred relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Mueller also was authorized to investigate and prosecute crimes growing out of the investigation, such as perjury and obstruction of justice, but this role was secondary to the primary one. It turns out that the secondary role has produced many more indictments of Americans than the primary one. A review of all the indictments and guilty pleas secured by Mueller shows nearly all of them fall into three categories.

If Mueller ultimately comes up empty on substantive crimes relating to Russia that were committed before he was appointed, and can point only to the three categories of alleged crimes described above, then it will be difficult to declare his investigation a success, or his appointment justified by the results. Based on what we have seen, it would have been far better if a nonpartisan commission of experts had been appointed to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election and to make recommendations about how to prevent foreign interference in future American elections.

By metmike - Nov. 26, 2020, 11:29 a.m.
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"I think the presidential pardon is an antiquated power."

I completely agree with that joj!

By joj - Nov. 26, 2020, 12:45 p.m.
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The Muller Investigation was a success.  He uncovered the details and machinations of the Russian interference in the 2016 election of misinformation and meddling (as well as the ongoing threat).  I read much of it.

Or are you in agreement with Trump and Putin on that too?  (That Russia is clean)

By metmike - Nov. 26, 2020, 1:53 p.m.
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"The Mueller Investigation was a success."


We know that Russia is always trying to affect US politics. The problem with the Mueller investigation is the manner in which is was conducted. Violating rights and targeting innocent  US citizens  for political agenda. 

Basing the initial investigation on fake evidence being used by partisan hacks. 

I consider it almost as bad as Watergate............except in this case, the corrupt investigators can act with impunity because they make up their own rules. 

Saying it was a success, to me, would be akin to  commenting after a plane crash killed 127 people but somehow, 2 survived and calling that a success.

Yeah, the Mueller investigation discovered some things about Russian meddling but it did 1,000 times more damage to the system and created a Grand Canyon like divide in the American People.

Note the difference in our perceptions.

You especially liked it because it targeted Trump and people he associated with. 

That's the exact reason why I disliked it. Targeting US citizens and violating their rights for political reasons. 

By metmike - Nov. 26, 2020, 2:07 p.m.
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"Or are you in agreement with Trump and Putin on that too? "

I know for you, everything is defined on whether its FOR Trump or AGAINST Trump.

My perceptions and analysis are completely independent of my feelings for Trump or what his position might be.

I have criticized Trump at least as often as I have defended him.

I criticized him strongly and repeatedly on the way that he has responded after the election, his rallies, COVID advice,  as well as pointing out his many character flaws and being a bully/mean.

I defend him when appropriate. The Mueller Witch hunt is one of those times. We should all be concerned that US citizens can have their rights abused and be investigated with made up evidence, then be entrapped and set up to be charged with crimes that the investigation creates by the investigation. 

I wouldn't need to voice an opinion if this happened to H. Clinton............because it NEVER would. It only happened because the President was Donald Trump. No other reason. 

If Clinton had won and everything had played out exactly the same, including what Russia did............except Hillary got a few more votes and won............there never would have been a Mueller investigation.

Which shows the point.

It only occurred for political reasons to discredit and obliterate the winner of the 2016 election because the people decided to cast too many votes for the wrong person.

And most importantly. The "Swamp" which includes alot of unelected bureaucrats that includes the DOJ, FBI, CIA and many, many, many others that preferred the system the way it was before Trump took office and the way that previous presidents allowed(and would have been the case with Clinton)  showed us their true colors.

They considered their agenda more important than the results of an election. 

Washington Bureaucrats Are Quietly Working to Undermine Trump’s Agenda


Across the government, career staffers are finding ways to continue old policies, sometimes just by renaming a project.

“Everything coming out of NOAA does not reflect this administration,” said David Schnare, a retired lawyer for an industry-backed think tank who served on Trump’s transition team and is skeptical about climate change. “It reflects the last one.”

That’s true across the government as some of the roughly two million career staff have found ways to obstruct, slow down or simply ignore their new leader, the president.