National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington US in February, 2017.(Reuters/ File photo)
National security adviser General Michael Flynn delivers a statement daily briefing at the White House in Washington US in February, 2017.(Reuters/ File photo)

Michael Flynn could be pardoned. Here’s the politics behind it

Here’s everything you need to know about Michael Flynn and the politics of his pardon
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 25, 2020 02:27 PM IST

US President Donald Trump plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn before he leaves office, according to multiple media reports. Earlier in March, Trump said that he was strongly considering a full pardon for Flynn. He said the FBI and Justice Department had “destroyed” Flynn’s life and that of his family.

Trump has already commuted the sentence of his adviser and long time aide Roger Stone. His former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort is still in home confinement while he serves a prison sentence. All three of them are connected to the Mueller report which was an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump campaign’s links with Moscow.

Here’s everything you need to know about Michael Flynn and the politics of his pardon:

Who is Michael Flynn?

Flynn, who famously called for the jailing of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Republican convention, served in the Army for 33 years, eventually reaching the rank of lieutenant general before his retirement in 2014. He was the head of military intelligence as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration.

After this, he briefly served as Trump’s first national security adviser and was chosen even though President Obama had repeatedly warned Trump against hiring him, citing “profound concerns.” During the Mueller investigation, the FBI interviewed Flynn in January 2017 about his relationship with Russia after which he resigned from his position 24 days into the new administration.

Read more | Trump gives Biden access to daily intelligence briefings as transition moves forward

What is Flynn accused of?

Prosecutors alleged Flynn “did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to FBI agents during a January 2017 interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Because of this Flynn faced criminal charges and was the first to be prosecuted during the Mueller investigation.

In December 2017, Flynn formalised a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to a felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI, and agreed to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s investigation. But in January 2020, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming government vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement. In May, 2020 the United States Department of Justice headed by Attorney General William Barr announced that it intended to drop all charges against Flynn.

Click here for complete coverage of US presidential election 2020

What is the politics behind the reported pardon?

If Trump does grant a pardon to Flynn, it would be the highest-profile pardon issued by the president since he took office. The pardon will also be personal for Trump who called the Mueller investigation, a “hoax” and a “witch hunt”. Through the pardon, Trump will be able to show Flynn and most importantly himself as the victim of the Mueller investigation and Washington insiders.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)
The Supreme Court. (HT archive)

SC refuses to entertain plea seeking ‘free and fair’ polls in West Bengal

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 01:26 PM IST
A public interest litigation (PIL) in this regard was filed in the apex court in December 2020.
Close
“People of Bengal will give a befitting reply to her in the next elections,” the BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said.(PTI File Photo)
“People of Bengal will give a befitting reply to her in the next elections,” the BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said.(PTI File Photo)

BJP targets CM Mamata Banerjee for appeasement politics in Bengal

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 03:43 AM IST
Banerjee on Saturday refused to speak at an official event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the beginning of the celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 124th birth anniversary after Bharatiya Janata Party supporters raised “Jai Shri Ram” slogans just before Banerjee was to start her address.
Close
Switching political allegiance doesn't always guarantee leadership positions, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.(Prateek Choudhury/Hindustan Times File Photo)
Switching political allegiance doesn't always guarantee leadership positions, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.(Prateek Choudhury/Hindustan Times File Photo)

'Need to induct leaders from other parties to expand base': Bengal BJP chief

PTI, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:52 PM IST
In an interview to PTI, he also clarified that everybody has to abide by the rules and regulations of the party, be it the old-timers or the newcomers.
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being welcomed by people during his public rally, in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.(ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being welcomed by people during his public rally, in Tamil Nadu on Sunday.(ANI Photo)

In Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi offers a solution to deal with China

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:55 PM IST
Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu which is scheduled to go to polls in April-May. He is interacting with farmers, weavers and the general public during the visit.
Close
Union Home minister Amit Shah was addressing a rally in Assam's Kokrajhar.(File photo)
Union Home minister Amit Shah was addressing a rally in Assam's Kokrajhar.(File photo)

Only Modi-led BJP can rid Assam of terrorism and intruders: Amit Shah

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 03:06 PM IST
Targeting Congress for lack of development in the state, Shah said, "The Congress party stained Assam in blood for years and instigated different movements in the state."
Close
Congress' West Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada with Rahul Gandhi(PTI)
Congress' West Bengal in-charge Jitin Prasada with Rahul Gandhi(PTI)

Congress-Left to fight for Bengal's identity: Jitin Prasada

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:29 PM IST
Accusing the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not focusing on people's issues, Prasada said this election in Bengal should have been about the performance of the BJP-led central government and what it has done for Bengal.
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a road show in Erode on Sunday.( ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressing a road show in Erode on Sunday.( ANI)

'Here to help', 'Indebted to you': What Rahul Gandhi said at Erode roadshow

Written by Poulomi Ghosh
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 01:27 PM IST
Invoking his family's relationship with Tamil Nadu, on the second day of his tour, Rahul thanked the people of the state for all their love and affection.
Close
During his first visit to the poll-bound state, the PM said allotment of these certificates would ensure that the benefits of government schemes reached these families.(ANI file photo)
During his first visit to the poll-bound state, the PM said allotment of these certificates would ensure that the benefits of government schemes reached these families.(ANI file photo)

Ahead of Assam polls, PM Modi distributes land allotment certificates

By Utpal Parashar, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 06:00 AM IST
In its 2016 election manifesto, the BJP, which came to power in Assam with the slogan of protecting ‘jaati’, ‘maati’ and ‘bheti’ (community, land and hearth), had promised to give land rights to the state’s indigenous families.
Close
The former Congress president also targeted the BJP’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.(AFP)
The former Congress president also targeted the BJP’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.(AFP)

Rahul Gandhi launches Cong’s Tamil Nadu poll campaign, hits out at PM Modi

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:40 AM IST
“Currently, they are trying to bring one idea of one language, one culture which we are fighting,” Rahul said, launching the Congress’ election campaign from Coimbatore district.
Close
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu from January 23 to January 25.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu from January 23 to January 25.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

'Not policy mistakes but systematic assault': Rahul Gandhi on farm laws 

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 09:21 PM IST
Speaking at a rally in Tamil Nadu's Tiruppur months ahead of assembly elections in the state are to be held, the Congress leader compared farm laws with demonetisation.
Close
“I still say what Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow, let us do that” said Mamata Banerjee in her address(PTI Photo)
“I still say what Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow, let us do that” said Mamata Banerjee in her address(PTI Photo)

'We celebrate Netaji not just in election year': Mamata Banerjee's top 10 quotes

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 04:24 PM IST
“We will build an Azad Hind Monument. We will show how it will be done. They've spent thousands of crores in building statues and a new parliament complex. A monument, named after Azad Hind Fauj, will be built at Rajarhat." said the chief minister at the end of her rally
Close
Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar speaks during the inauguration of 45th Regional Conference of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, in Kolkata, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_19_2021_000048B)(PTI)
Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar speaks during the inauguration of 45th Regional Conference of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, in Kolkata, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_19_2021_000048B)(PTI)

WB Governor Dhankhar promises violence-free assembly elections

ANI, Kolkata
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:44 PM IST
Jagdeep Dhankhar blamed the previous Union governments for not paying enough respect to several freedom fighters like Netaji, Ambedkar and Sardar Patel.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributes 'Land Patta' to a woman during a public meeting, at Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar District of Assam. (PTI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributes 'Land Patta' to a woman during a public meeting, at Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar District of Assam. (PTI Photo)

Assamese people have legal assurance that their lands can't be taken away: PM

PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:57 PM IST
Assamese people now have legal assurance that their lands cannot be taken away, say PM Modi
Close
Shah, on January 24, will hold two public meetings in Assam, which is scheduled to go to the polls later this year.(ANI/Twitter)
Shah, on January 24, will hold two public meetings in Assam, which is scheduled to go to the polls later this year.(ANI/Twitter)

Amit Shah reaches Guwahati, to hold public meetings on Jan 24

ANI, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:15 AM IST
BJP Vice President and party in-charge of Assam, Baijayant Jay Panda, is currently camping in Assam and looking after the preparations for Shah's rally.
Close
Terming TMC's allegations 'unfortunate', the CEC said the BSF was one of the finest forces.(PTI)
Terming TMC's allegations 'unfortunate', the CEC said the BSF was one of the finest forces.(PTI)

'Unfortunate': CEC Sunil Arora on TMC allegation that BSF is 'coercing' voters

Written by Prashasti Singh, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:11 PM IST
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said concerns of political parties in West Bengal about the law and order situation in the state during electioneering for the upcoming polls will be addressed by ensuring optimal deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP