Trump Refuses To Rule Out Pardon For Michael Flynn

CNN reports:

President Donald Trump on Friday did not dismiss the idea of pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

Asked whether he would consider a pardon for Flynn, Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn Friday morning that he is not yet ready to talk about pardons.

“I don’t want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens, let’s see,” the President said.

  • JackFknTwist

    So the Trump/turd is much more scared than he let’s on .

  • Gustav2

    “Pssssst. Hey Mikey, don’t tell them everything, I have a ‘get out of jail card free’ if you need it.”

    (won’t help with the individual state prosecutions)

  • Pollos Hermanos

    Doesn’t matter.

    Flynn already sang to Mueller. A pardon isn’t going to unring that bell.

  • Tomcat

    I’ll pardon him after I find out how damaging he was to me, trump says.

  • bkmn

    1. He knows Flynn may have flipped
    2. His lawyers told him to say nothing, as promising him a pardon could lead to more questioning
    3. He is an asshole

    • Exatron

      4. He’s also an idiot.

      • Frostbite

        Should be #1 on the list.

        • Todd20036

          Number 2 is more appropriate

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    • Tawreos

      I would think his lawyers would have told him to say nothing on the subject or to simply state that Flynn will not be getting a pardon.

    • Todd20036

      If Flynn is pardoned he assumes guilt. If he assumes guilt he can testify without the 5th amendment.

      Flynn may not be jailed but he’ll be even MORE useful to Mueller

      And Flynn really is just a medium sized fish

  • Tomcat

    I am sure Mueller can get Flynn on some state crime somewhere and asshole cannot pardon that.

    • Gustav2

      I thought Flynn also agreed to cooperate with the state prosecutions. It was part of the plea deal.

      • Tomcat

        And I am sure the deal calls for no pardons or deal gone.

        • JackFknTwist

          Huh ?
          I’m trying to work that out .

          • Gustav2

            I don’t know how that works with double jeopardy.

  • narutomania

    When the person in whom is invested the power to grant pardons is implicated (DEEPLY) in the crimes for which the accused was convicted, then the power to pardon should be suspended.

    End. Of. Story.

    • JackFknTwist

      Yes, it should be an invalid execution of the ‘Pardon Power’ where the pardoner has a criminal exposure in the offence being pardoned.

      • narutomania

        I can foresee it now: a happy little daisy chain of pardons.

        Drumpf: Okay, Pencey. If I pardon Flynn on Friday, it will get buried in the end-of-week detritus of news stories. Then I will pardon YOU on Saturday and I can abdicate-

        Pence: Resign.

        Drumpf: What?

        Pence: The word is “resign”, Mr Presidunce. Not “abdicate”.

        Drumpf: Oh, right. So, I’ll “resign” on Sunday, then you can be crowned on Monday and pardon me.

      • JackFknTwist

        And the Att. Gen. should challenge that Pardon of behalf of the Justice Dept. and the American people.
        What are the chances ?

    • Tomcat

      Should be but isn’t.

      • Karl Dubhe 2

        I have a feeling that really bad things would happen to him if he actually did pardon himself.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      If it were hillary pardoning the rethug congress would take away that power. That is why it is imperative we win back congress.
      There is no check on right wing power

    • Nax

      I wish.

  • TexasBoy

    The Nixon administration was better than this.

  • Tomcat

    Squirrels everywhere lately.
    What we need to do is contact every senator and tell them their jobs are gone if the tax bill passes.

    • Gustav2

      I called my Sen Portman’s (R-OH) office and told them a whole year of ads* before his reelect in 2020 would not make us forget this vote. Get his resume ready.

      * a Koch PAC ran ads for a full year before his last reelection. Imagine, Christmas ads and Portman ads running after each other.

      edit: I didn’t bother the folks in Sherrod Brown’s office. heh

      • Joe in PA

        Ditto with Toomey…except it will be 2022. Fuuuuuck. Hopefully, the Senate will be in Dem control long before then.

  • pj

    go ahead don. touch the third rail.

    • Tomcat

      Yes, embrace it.

      • pj

        or piss on it

  • Guess

    OT: I was just looking for the origins of the phrase “In Like Flynn” and discovered the tie-ins to Errol Flynn, 1940s rape culture, and William F. Buckley. Time to go find a new catchphrase!

    • Snarkaholic

      Sin like Flynn?

    • Gustav2

      Because “in like (Fatty) Arbuckle” didn’t sound as lyrical.

      • MaryJOGrady

        Fatty Arbuckle was framed. That poor young actress did not die because of any sexual assault by him. His career was ruined.

  • Boreal

    Hope Mueller has something on Flynn that Schneiderman can prosecute.

  • Mike C

    Pretty please? Also isn’t this witness tampering?

  • Michael R

    Maybe part of Flynn’s deal is ” no pardon for you “

  • Tawreos

    He says he doesn’t want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn yet. I think he may be waiting for Flynn to come o him and beg for a pardon. He may also be waiting for Flynn to offer him more to pay for the pardon.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    As Andrew Laufer loves to remind people: If Mueller can establish grounds for conspiracy, then Trump cannot pardon him. Trump cannot pardon co-conspirators.

    But that assumes that Mueller can get charges for conspiracy that involve Trump himself.

    • Jonathan Smith

      will not stop him though

    • Natty Enquirer

      Those are untested legal theories, however. The plain language of the Constitution gives the President power to pardon anyone for any Federal crime.

  • Oscarlating Wildely

    Oh for the days of less tedious deal making, obstruction, and wantonness! At least Nixon had nice china.

    • Snarkaholic

      Chump eats his meals directly out of the wrappers.

  • Hank

    OT: Here’s What Oil Drilling Looks Like in the Arctic Refuge, 30 Years Later

    Someone should send this to Lisa Murkowski before her vote on the tax debacle!!!

    • matrem

      It’s cute you think she actually gives a shit

    • Rambie

      All she’ll see is the money they’ve bribed her with

  • Tawreos

    If I remember correctly when Manafort was arrested, Mueller still had 4 sealed indictments. I am guessing two of them were for Flynn and his son. I wonder who the other two are for?

  • Jonathan Smith
    • That_Looks_Delicious

      Can’t Dotard just fire the state of New York? You’re fired!

  • JAKvirginia

    Go ahead, Donnie. Mueller has what he needs. It was never about Flynn. He’s aiming for you!

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    I don’t understand why the anti-king, framers of the Constitution gave the president the king-like power of being able to pardon anyone for anything without contest.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Check your local library instead of Twitter and you will find no shortage of history books analyzing this and every other clause of the U.S. Constitution.

      • Joe in PA

        What’s with the dickish response?

        • kareemachan

          Well, I think it’s nice if sometimes people find an answer for themselves.

          And I found his answer snippy, not all that dickish.

          • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

            Nah, it was dickish. We all make off-handed comments on the topic at hand and my off-handed comment was more of an observation about the irony of it than a question. The presidential pardon power has been controversial since its inception.

    • joe ho

      “The pardon is based on the royal Prerogative of English Kings, which gave the king the ability to overturn any sentence. Originally, the king’s prerogative existed without any limitations attached to it. But during the reign of King Charles II (1660-85), the English Parliament managed to institute the single rule that impeachment was excluded from the pardon power. This rule lives on today.

      “When the American founders were developing the laws for the United States in the late 18th century, the power to pardon almost didn’t make it into the Constitution. In fact, it was barely considered. Two plans, the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan for framing the Constitution, did not include the power to pardon. One of the Virginia Plan’s backers, George Mason, believed it was a mistake to grant such power to a single person. Having just revolted against King George III, whom many Americans considered a tyrannical king, many of Mason’s fellow framers agreed with him.

      “But Alexander Hamilton, who believed in a large, powerful, centralized federal government made up of the elite thinkers of the nation, was able to bring the other framers of the U.S. Constitution around to his way of thinking.

      “In No. 74 of his “Federalist Papers,” Alexander Hamilton extolled the value of a pardoning power: “in seasons of insurrection or rebellion, there are often critical moments, when a welltimed [sic] offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquillity [sic] of the commonwealth; and which, if suffered to pass unimproved, it may never be possible afterwards to recall” [Source: Yale Law School].

      “Hamilton, and eventually the other framers, saw the value of investing in the president the ability to — at a moment’s notice and without the consent of any other branch of government — grant reprieves to groups during periods of national crisis. It was reasoned that some crises could be allayed or overcome if the belligerents could be given a deal forgiving them for their trespasses.

      “Almost no sooner than the ink on the Constitution was dry, this ability was needed. When farmers in Pennsylvania revolted in 1794 against federal taxes levied on their corn crops, the Whiskey Rebellion was born. President George Washington used the power to pardon for the first time in United States history to forgive the revolting farmers for their insurrection against the young nation. The action worked and the rebellion was quieted.

      “The pardon has since been used in this original intent several times. As mentioned earlier, Andrew Johnson used the pardon to redeem Confederate soldiers after the Civil War. President John Adams pardoned soldiers who had deserted during the Revolutionary War. And to help end the Vietnam era, President Jimmy Carter offered a blanket pardon to any American who had dodged the draft during the war.

      “As the centuries have progressed in America, the presidential pardon has evolved from the ability to forgive treasonous acts, to a much broader interpretation of executive power. Check out the next page to learn how the pardon is being used in the modern era.”

      • Joe in PA

        Thank you. 🙂

      • JackFknTwist

        Great….and the pardon can be useful in intelligent and statesman like hands.

        But Trump/turd ?
        The suggestion that he can pardon in any case in which he has an interest or an exposure, will not stand the test of a judicial challenge.

        And that Judicial Challenge can be taken by either the Att. Gen. or any other citizen, or group of citizens, because everyone has Locus Standi in seeing that the law is enforced.

  • another_steve

    When Jared pleads guilty, I will pardon him.

    In my own way.

  • Refugay

    It seems to me that just the act of dangling a pardon for someone under indictment is witness tampering and obstruction of justice. But what the fuck do I know and these people are capable of anything.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Yes, it sure reeks of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
      The message from Trump to Flynn here, is “Hang in tough, don’t spill the beans on me, and I’ll pardon you in the end.”

    • Halou

      There have been zero consequences for any of the other times he committed that crime. Why should he now all of a sudden fear the consequences?

  • It will be cute to see Trump (and his lawyers) attempt to outsmart Mueller.

    • William

      My dog can outsmart Trump’s lawyers, and she thinks sticking her head under the sofa makes her invisible.

  • Oh, PLEASE, pardon him, O Great Orange Dumpling. Give us a good solid reason to impeach and convict you. (Oh, and take Mr. Woman-LGBT-Hater from Indiana with you, kthxbye.)

  • Halou

    First thing, Flynn is only on the hook for “lying to the FBI”, a fairly minor crime considering what else he can be charged with.
    Second, and related to the first, with an abundance of other charges available Mueller can simply pick and choose something else post-pardon, and Trump will, what? be forced to issue another pardon, and another, and another.
    Third. Mueller has for a long time now been cooperating with state prosecutors. If there is anything he really wants to do, but is told he cannot do it in a federal court, he will just have a state court do it for him. Let’s say New York since much of the treason that was committed was committed either in the state or by residents of the state.
    Fourth. By taking away the possibility of legal consequences for, as said in point one, “lying to the FBI” Trump also takes away Flynn’s ability to plead the fifth. So he can be grilled about the involvement of others in the conspiracy, not to worry because having been pardoned you literally can’t incriminate yourself.

    Go on Donald. I dare you! Pardon the bastard.

  • billbear1961

    You cannot allow this GANGSTER to pardon himself and his henchmen any more than you can allow him to force Mueller’s dismissal or allow Congress to ignore Mueller’s findings.

    Allow ANY of these things, and you’re allowing the subversion of the RULE OF LAW, the establishment of a DICTATORSHIP.

    There’s no crime they wouldn’t commit–they’d shut down any investigation underway or ignore its conclusions or not allow an investigation in the first place!

    Electoral-Vote said MONTHS ago you’d have a situation where Trump could easily say to his henchmen: “I want you to do something for me. You will if you want to keep your job! What? What I want you to do is illegal? So what? Don’t worry about it! If you get caught, I’ll pardon you!”

    • Joe in PA

      Yeah, I’ve been thinking more and more about the possibility the Mueller will present his findings and congress will do nothing. 🙁

      • billbear1961

        You cannot accept that!

        Massive and relentless protests, coupled with economic measures, would be necessary to FORCE the evil, complicit BASTARDS to act!

        You CANNOT accept or recognize the authority of GANGSTER government.

        Their refusal to act–their complicity with CRIME–would render their authority FORFEIT! They would be aiding and abetting a COUP against the Republic and the RULE OF LAW!

        • JackFknTwist

          The people have ‘locus standi ‘ in enforcing the law, whether the Att. Gen. acts or not.

          The people can act in their own name at common law to see that the law is enforced.

          eh, I think.

          • billbear1961

            In this republic, the Sovereign Authority is in the hands of the PEOPLE, and if they witness a government which refuses to keep its pledge to obey the Constitution and the rule of law, THEY, the People, must act to defend their democracy from CRIMINALS who are engaging in a COUP!

          • JackFknTwist

            My thoughts exactly.

      • Lantor

        I fear the exact same thing.

      • SDG

        If they do, indeed “do nothing” they will be replaced in 2018 by a congress that will.

    • JackFknTwist

      I agree. Even the ‘Pardon Power’ must be subject to the Rule of Law; that requires that no one can be a judge in their own cause, so Trump/turd cannot pardon himself.
      Even if, as one Judge ruled in November, that the ‘Pardon Power; was not a juridical exercise but more a ‘mercy’ prerogative, I don’t see why that ‘mercy’ power should not also be subject to the Rule of Law – Nem judex in causa sua – no one can be a judge in their own cause…….or any cause in which they have an interest…….any cause .

      As you say, Billbear1961, if were otherwise, it would be a dictatorship

      • billbear1961

        They cannot judge whether or not THEY have committed a crime or have been complicit in one.

  • Bambino

    I don’t get it. If Flynn is willing to cooperate with Mueller why would he need a pardon from Dotard?

    • jerry

      He still pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, which could carry (I think) a 10-year sentence. The plea to only one charge was light, compared to being prosecuted for 10 or 15 other possible charges.

      • Bambino

        The whole point of Flynn cooperating with Mueller is to take down Trump, his son and Jared. If he succeed in doing so, I doubt Trump wanting to give him any pardon.

    • Halou

      Flynn doesn’t need a pardon, the terms of his plea deal essentially let him get away with 99% of what he has done.

      It is Trump who feels the need to pardon his co-conspirators if the forlorn hope that doing so will guarantee their loyalty to him and not to the United States of America..

      • Bambino

        That ship has sailed when Flynn decided to cooperate with Mueller no?

        • KarenAtFOH

          I agree, he has likely already given up everything to Mueller. Why would Mueller agree to such light terms if he didn’t yet have all the goods?

    • 2guysnamedjoe

      Fear of prosecution by Mueller is Flynn’s motive to cooperate with Mueller. If dump pardons Flynn, Mueller can no longer threaten Flynn with prosecution if he doesn’t cooperate.

  • Jeffrey

    He’s not pardoning Flynn. And even if he did Mueller has kept some charges and evidence aside for state charges that are not pardonable by potus.

  • JWC

    Trump will do no favors to himself or Flynn with a pardon. Although Flmm can not longer be investigated federally, his presumption of guilt is stong. He still can be charged for the same crimes in State court but loose lots of protection

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    I’d say “this is typical of a president who has no understanding as to how pardons work, especially given that the person in question is co-operating with officials and admits to his activities”….but that would be me being repetitive and frankly, I’m tired.

    • Gregory In Seattle

      Also consider the fact that presidential pardons can be applied ONLY to federal charges. Most of what Flynn can be charged with will apparently be directed to New York State, where the president has no power.

  • William

    A pardon could be the reason Trump isn’t contributing to Flynn’s legal defense fund.

    • Reality.Bites

      Since when does Trump need a reason to not give away his own money?

  • Gregory In Seattle

    This isn’t a problem. Most of the charges Flynn could be indicted on are felonies under New York State law, and he has not been charged by Mueller on any of those felonies. Once Mueller wrings him dry, Flynn will be turned over to state prosecutors, where the President’s power of the pardon cannot follow.

  • MaryJOGrady

    Attorneys in the dear JMG commentariat, isn’t trying to influence a witness in an investigation like this illegal?

    • Gianni

      It smells like Donnie is trying to do that. He’s dangling a protection scheme so Flynn won’t tell the story he claims he has. Donnie just can’t figure out that trying to impede and interfere with this Russia collusion investigation only does one thing – it simply makes him look to be really guilty. Otherwise, why do what you’re doing? If there’s nothing to hide, why try to hide it? Such a blithering idiot of a man.

  • -M-

    Too late. Besides Flynn would no longer be able to take the fifth regarding any crimes for which he’d been pardoned.

  • Pip

    So, perhaps I’m reading too much into this statement. But if I were Flynn I’d take that as “You scratch my back, and I’ll pardon yours.”

  • The_Wretched

    Pardon promises as an on-going obstruction of justice? We can hope.

  • Michael

    Mueller would not have worked out a deal with Flynn if a pardon could squash the deal. Flynn flipped because Mueller has him on both significant Federal AND State charges, the latter of which would not disappear if Trump pardoned him for his federal crimes. His idiot son also, very likely, factored into the deal. We are not going to see a pardon but I wouldn’t be particularly worried if we did.