President Trump announced via Twitter that he has granted a pardon to his former National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), after several years of legal battles to clear his name after being prosecuted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation.
After Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to President Trump, she and other Democrats claimed that Trump only won due to Russian collusion and a personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Various members of the Obama administration then went on a media crusade to convince the American people that Russia had handed the election to Donald Trump.
After serving in the U.S. Army for three decades, Flynn served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration. He was later fired by President Obama after criticizing the administration internally for not going after terrorists as much as he felt was needed.
During the Presidential transition period, Flynn had routine diplomatic discussions with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak as well as other foreign dignitaries. After Flynn asked Russia not to escalate tensions after the Obama administration imposed sanctions for election interference, his conversation was intercepted by intelligence services and leaked to the media to further the dominant media narrative of Russian collusion. A senior Obama administration official is presumed to have “unmasked” Flynn’s name in transcripts of his conversation with Kislyak, but this has not been conclusively proven to date.
When the FBI investigated Flynn, they found no violation of federal law and were prepared to close the case until senior Obama administration officials applied political pressure to keep the case open. Obama administration officials argued that Flynn had violated the Logan Act, a law passed in 1799 to prevent private citizens from conducting diplomacy on behalf of the American government that has never been successfully prosecuted.
During an Oval Office meeting on January 5th 2017, attended by President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, and outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the President told Comey to pursue inquires “by the book.” It is unclear what the context of that statement was, but many assume it was a green light to prosecute Flynn under the Logan Act.
A few weeks later after General Flynn began his work under President Trump as National Security Advisor, FBI Director James Comey sent several FBI agents to the White House to interview Flynn, and advised him not to bring legal counsel. Documents have come to light since then which show that FBI agents discussed amongst themselves whether they were trying to get Flynn fired or prosecuted, and that Flynn was never told he was under investigation. During the interview, FBI agents asked Flynn about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, and agents later said they did not believe Flynn was lying to them.
Despite FBI agents saying Flynn was telling the truth, contents of the surveillance intercepts were leaked to the Washington Post. Flynn was forced to resign just three weeks into his tenure after being accused of lying to the FBI and to Vice President Mike Pence. A few months later, he was prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller under the guise of the Russian collusion investigation. Flynn later accepted a plea deal where he cooperated with Mueller’s investigation, and it was later revealed that prosecutors had pressured Flynn to plead guilty so they would not charge his son with any crimes.
After his guilty pleas, Flynn replaced his lawyers with Sidney Powell, who has also helped President Trump’s team with voter fraud cases in several states. Powell passionately argued that Flynn was framed and was a victim of a larger conspiracy by Democrats to undermine President Trump’s legitimacy. Flynn then withdrew his guilty plea, and in March 2019, Mueller reported to Attorney General William Barr that he had found no evidence of “Russian collusion.”
The Department of Justice requested to drop Flynn’s prosecution, but Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, a Clinton appointee who had overseen the case from the beginning, refused and suggested that Flynn should also be prosecuted for contempt of court.
Powell appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to force Judge Sullivan to drop the case, and in a 2-1 decision, the court agreed. Sullivan then appealed the ruling to an en banc hearing with the entire court, where the court returned the case to the original trial court, where the case is still active.
Flynn lost almost his entire life savings fighting this case, as well as lost the ability to serve under President Trump as National Security Advisor. While Flynn has remained relatively mum about his opinions of the case until recently, he tweeted a Bible verse shortly before President Trump’s announcement of his pardon.
“They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.