House Democratic committee chairmen Adam Schiff and Jerold Nadler — who helped lead the impeachment of President Donald Trump — condemned the pardon granted former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, calling it an abuse of power.
''Donald Trump has repeatedly abused the pardon power to reward friends and protect those who covered up for him,'' said Schiff, a California Democrat, in a Twitter post following the announcement. ''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.''
Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak between the 2016 presidential election and the time the Trump administration took office.
Flynn was ensnared in the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation — which became a probe by special prosecutor Robert Mueller — into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian government officials to influence the 2016 election.
He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017 but sought to withdraw his plea in January. The Department of Justice filed a motion in May to dismiss the case saying the questioning of Flynn in the case was ''unjustified.''
However, the judge in the case, Bill Clinton-appointed Emmet Sullivan, has refused to dismiss the charges and even appointed a former federal judge who had publicly disclosed his opposition to the Justice Department’s action as an advocate in his court to reject the government’s motion.
"This pardon is undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy,'' Nadler, D-New York, said.
Nadler and Schiff’s comments were in direct opposition to House Republicans, such as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who called the prosecution of Flynn a ''national disgrace,'' and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who said ''justice has been served.''
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