Michael Flynn Is Still Going to Be Sentenced

Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

Trump needs to pardon General Michael Flynn because the court isn’t backing off.

The Mueller Team’s prosecution of Michael Flynn is an outrage. But Flynn pleaded guilty so it is almost certain that the only way out of being sentenced lies in President Trump’s power to pardon. Andrew McCarthy wrote a long review of what happened and what is going on in the Flynn prosecution and he points out that Flynn probably took a deal to avoid a lot of other prosecutions. This wouldn’t be because he was a bad actor but because prosecutors have a lot of freedom to cause trouble to people who work for clients overseas.

McCarthy writes at The National Review website: “Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Isn’t Going Away.

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Understandably, there is great suspicion about the prosecution among Trump partisans. As we have chronicled, it was perfectly appropriate for Flynn, as the incoming national-security adviser, to consult with the Russian ambassador and other foreign counterparts. He should never have been subjected to a criminal probe or interrogated by the FBI as a criminal suspect. It was outrageous for the Justice Department to investigate him for a possible violation of the moribund, unconstitutional Logan Act (especially after distorting the law in order to avoid prosecuting Hillary Clinton for an actual violation of the Espionage Act). It was equally outrageous to grill him about conversations of which the FBI already had recordings — what point could there have been but to try to trip him up? Nevertheless, the agents who conducted the interview — including the now-infamous Peter Strzok — did not believe at the time that Flynn was lying to them; the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, told Congress as much. Flynn was only charged ten months later, after Mueller’s team of highly aggressive prosecutors took over the case.

There are other peculiarities. Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over Flynn’s guilty plea, was quietly recused from the case a week later. No explanation has been given for why. In addition to his district-court duties, Judge Contreras serves on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It is not known whether he approved any of the FISA warrants in the investigation; it is known, through the lovers’ texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that Judge “Rudy” is a friend of theirs.

[…]

This brings us to the issue of vacating Flynn’s guilty plea, which his fans ardently hope against hope will happen.

It won’t.

Non-lawyers understandably focus on the equities that are in Flynn’s favor. They skip over the inconvenient fact that he got up in court, pled guilty as charged, and provided the court with an explanation of why he was guilty. Legally, it is almost impossible to un-ring that bell.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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