President Donald Trump’s pardon of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was not only justified, but he should have never been investigated or prosecuted, according to former chief assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy.
“Although there was no evidence that Flynn was either a clandestine agent of Russia (which could have been the proper basis for a counterintelligence investigation), or had committed any penal offense (which could have predicated a proper criminal investigation), FBI Director, James Comey dispatched two agents to interview Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — Flynn’s first full day as national security adviser,” McCarthy wrote in a Wednesday op-ed for Fox News.
“The interview had not been cleared with the Justice Department or the White House, as protocols required.
“Plainly, the interview was a perjury trap.”
McCarthy, who has been critical of Trump’s election legal challenge hopes, this time levied pointed criticism of Judge Emmet Sullivan’s handling of the Flynn case, despite the Justice Department having announced it was dismissing the case.
“Sullivan had no intention of acting expeditiously or following the law,” McCarthy wrote. “He clearly did not want to dismiss the case, and realized that no one would force him to do it on a short timeline.
“If he waited long enough, and Trump lost the election, Sullivan calculated that Trump would have to pardon Flynn or risk having a [Joe] Biden Justice Department withdraw the dismissal motion. This would deny Flynn the exoneration on the official court record that he hoped to get from the Justice Department, which had brought the case against him.”
McCarthy finished by saying the Trump pardon Wednesday “ends an unsavory chapter.”
“Judges are supposed to be impartial arbiters whose main function in a criminal case is to protect the rights of defendants from government overreach and intimidation,” McCarthy concluded.
“The pardon, nonetheless, expunges the case against Flynn. As a matter of law, it is as if the charges were never brought, as they should never have been.”
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