Just a day before Thanksgiving 2020, it seems like President Donald Trump is using his pardoning powers on more than just turkeys. The White House has issued an official pardon to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, allowing him to avoid all criminal charges for alleged federal misconduct. People all over the internet are in an uproar, and these tweets about Trump pardoning Michael Flynn don't pull the punches at all. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for a comment on the criticism Flynn's pardon has received, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Flynn held his position as national security adviser for less than a month in in 2017, before resigning following reports he had inappropriately spoken with Russian diplomats and misled the administration about it, allegedly violating a federal law that prohibits private citizens from engaging in diplomacy. Flynn allegedly discussed sanctions and diplomacy with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016 and early 2017, before Trump took office. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty on charges of lying to the FBI about the communications during the investigation into possible campaign collusion with Russia, spearheaded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn later withdrew his plea in January 2020, claiming that government officials had acted with "vindictiveness" and bad faith, according to The Washington Post.
This year on Nov. 25, Trump announced via Twitter that he had granted Flynn a full pardon, effectively ending his former aide's long-standing legal war with the U.S. government over investigations of his alleged communications with Russia. Flynn was the only member of Trump's administration to face charges during Mueller's Russia investigation. However, his sentencing has been repeatedly delayed throughout Trump's presidency, with his latest deferral occurring on Nov. 27, 2019.
People on Twitter were well aware of Flynn's guilty pleas, and were angry to find that Trump had pardoned Flynn during the last weeks of his presidency — allowing him to delay his sentencing permanently.
Legal experts speculate that Trump's last-minute pardon may come back to bite him — now that Flynn has accepted the deal, he can no longer use the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination. This means Flynn can be compelled to testify against Trump in court after his presidency comes to an end, or risk being charged further with contempt of court.
As of November 2020, Trump has not been officially charged with any crimes. However, with all of the ongoing investigations against him, that could easily change after he leaves office. In 2020, it seems like anything is possible.