Former FBI Official Calls Out Trump’s Pardon of Michael Flynn as ‘Yet Another Form of Obstruction of Justice’
Former FBI counterintelligence official Frank Figliuzzi called out President Donald Trump’s for completing the cover-up of his abuse of power by granting clemency to his former National Security Adviser, Michael Fynn.
On Wednesday, Trump’s announced on Twitter a full pardon for Flynn, who had pleaded guilty — twice — to lying to the FBI about his conversation with Russian officials during the 2016 Trump transition. Flynn also failed to register as a foreign agent — he was being paid by the Turkish government — while consulting for the Trump campaign and transition. Flynn’s firing by Trump, and the subsequent FBI investigation, triggered a cascading chain of events that ultimately led to Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose final report detailed numerous instances of the president engaging in obstruction of justice. Mueller, however, concluded that his office lacked jurisdiction to charge or prosecute Trump.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, Figliuzzi noted that while the move wasn’t unexpected — news reports suggested Trump was looking to lift the threat of jail time from Flynn before he left the White House — he condemned it nonetheless.
“While this doesn’t surprise anybody, here’s the deal,” Figliuzzi said. “Within the Trump orbit, pardons go and will continue to go to the guilty and the silent. And Michael Flynn has been both. Pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and silent about what he knows, particularly about Russia engagement with the campaign and with Trump. It also serves the Trump narrative to keep doing this and to pardon Flynn because Trump has been saying all along that the system is rigged against him, the justice system has it in for him. So, the more he can do to subvert the justice system, show that he thinks there’s fallacies to be — and flaws to be exposed, the more he’ll do it.”
Wallace then noted that Trump confidante Roger Stone, who also resisted cooperation with the Mueller probe, received a commutation of his sentence — and that he may yet be rewarded with a full pardon for his silence as well.
“What does that look like if we weren’t talking about that you are sort of beating the dead horse that is Donald Trump and his never disclosed explanation for his affinity for Vladimir Putin?” Wallace asked.
“I think it furthers the gut feeling we all have, based on the evidence that’s been exposed in the — in the Special Counsel inquiry and elsewhere, that the president has something to hide,” Figliuzzi replied. “He has something to obstruct and essentially, these pardons are yet another form of obstruction of justice. Rewarding people for their silence and saying, ‘I expect you to remain silent, because of these pardons.’ You’re going to see people not pardoned for the very same reason, which is that they’ve spoken out. So, I had a lengthy conversation just a couple of days ago, with the former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. And this topic of pardons came up, Nicolle, and there’s bitterness there with Michael Cohen, no surprise, because he doesn’t expect to get pardoned because he did the right thing — and the wrong thing in Trump’s eyes.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.
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