Lawmakers’ reactions to Flynn pardon fall on party lines
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle reacted strongly to President Trump’s pardoning of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn after the president announced his decision on Wednesday.
Flynn, a 61-year-old retired United States Army lieutenant general, was given a full pardon by Trump on Wednesday, a day before Thanksgiving. Flynn fought to dismiss the government’s case against him this year after he pleaded guilty in December 2017 for lying to investigators about conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition period in 2016.
“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 on Wednesday, later adding “Have a great life, General Flynn!”
Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, largely condemned the move.
“President Trump’s pardoning of Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his dealings with a foreign adversary, is an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who played a central role to Trump’s impeachment investigation last year, also called out the pardon on Twitter.
Donald Trump has repeatedly abused the pardon power to reward friends and protect those who covered up for him.
This time he pardons Michael Flynn, who lied to hide his dealings with the Russians.
It’s no surprise that Trump would go out as he came in —
Crooked to the end.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 25, 2020
“Donald Trump has repeatedly abused the pardon power to reward friends and protect those who covered up for him. This time he pardons Michael Flynn, who lied to hide his dealings with the Russians. It’s no surprise that Trump would go out as he came in — Crooked to the end,” the California Democrat said.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, echoed Pelosi’s words that the pardon was an “abuse of power” and said it would serve as a historical “stain” on the president’s “rapidly diminishing legacy.”
Michael Flynn lied to investigators about communicating with a foreign adversary. That’s a crime.
Trump dangled a pardon in exchange for Flynn’s non-cooperation. That’s abuse of power.
This pardon is another stain on Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy.https://t.co/mYWFjvWSRE
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) November 25, 2020
Meanwhile, Republicans largely celebrated Flynn’s pardon, including Sen. Lindsey Graham who called it a “very good use of the pardon power,” and Rep. Jim Jordan who simply tweeted “God bless Michael Flynn!”
Very good use of the pardon power by President @realDonaldTrump.
General Flynn was NOT a Russian agent.
Instead, he was the victim of a politically motivated investigation and prosecution where the ends justified the means. https://t.co/DVi5GbzXFu
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 25, 2020
God Bless Michael Flynn!
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 25, 2020
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, went even further, saying the president should wield his pardon power effectively as he can before he is expected to leave office. Gaetz said Trump should pardon everyone, including himself.
President Trump should pardon Flynn, the Thanksgiving turkey, and everyone from himself, to his admin, to Joe Exotic if he has to.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 25, 2020
On Wednesday, The Flynn family said in a statement that they were grateful for Trump’s pardon on Michael Flynn whose prosecution they believe was a “hideous wrong.”
“We thank President Trump for recognizing our brother’s sacrifice in this battle for truth, our Constitution, our Republic, and all that America stands for around the world – a true beacon of liberty,” the statement read. “We are forever appreciative to President Trump for giving back to Michael his freedom and undoing a hideous wrong.”
Flynn himself celebrated the news, saying he would issue a personal statement on Thanksgiving and thanked the country.
“This “Pardon of Innocence” is historic, sincerely appreciated & should never happen in our country again,” Flynn said.
This “Pardon of Innocence” is historic, sincerely appreciated & should never happen in our country again. I will issue a personal statement later today. My family issued one yesterday.
Thank you America 🇺🇸
Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 😀🇺🇸
1 Chronicles 16:32–34 💪🙏 pic.twitter.com/6TIN2eh3JE
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) November 26, 2020
Original Author: Mica Soellner
Original Location: Lawmakers’ reactions to Flynn pardon fall on party lines