President Donald Trump’s pardon for Michael Flynn, former national adviser, is now considered political dynamite in another angle last week. It is nothing but a divisive usage of clemency handed down on the current Thanksgiving eve at his presidency’s twilight.
Instead, his move now drew just a smattering of reaction from both president-elect Joe Biden and congressional Democrats and the majority of the Republicans. It is also relegated towards second-tier status in the cable news network by this weekend.
Trump is granting additional pardons for his close associates, along with his family members and even for himself. Now, experts said, ‘Trump may not consider much of political price irrespective of the receipts.’ The number of pardons with his political sheen which he has now signed may have desensitized the public towards the issue.
Neal Katyal said, a former acting solicitor general and legal analyst, ‘compared to other Flynn pardon, looks indefensible on every level. But, it is also true that people may not expect anything more from President Donald Trump.
He added, ‘there are fewer days to count if you consider the days where Trump has not created a scandal. People are exhausted after four years of his tenure.’
Donald Trump is far from the first president for granting pardons by considering political ramifications. In final days, President Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich financier, and Roger Clinton, his brother, and he also pardoned his business partner Susan McDougal. If we consider President George H.W. Bush, he explained aides who caught up in the mid-1980s Iran-contra scandal. In final days, President Gerald Ford also pardoned few and that included Richard Nixon.
Donald Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative writer, a year later. He served as a vocal supporter for Trump, and he was pleaded guilty for violating campaign finance law in 2014. Trump commuted the sentence in July for Roger Stone, and it was a longtime confidant convicted for lying to protect Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. He lied for an investigation related to Russian election interference.
A former federal executive and prosecutor director of Fair and Just Prosecution, Miriam Krinsky, a group responsible for advocating changes in the criminal policy, says, ‘politicization of the pardon.’ The pardon process was politicized during the Trump administration, and it has been troubling.
Krinsky added, ‘It is a host of areas wherein the guardrails should be restored.’ Krinsky also suggested that there is a way to do this, handling the review process to an independent entity.
Flynn served less than a month as top security adviser for Trump in the White House. But, pleaded guilty a few years back for lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador, and after the 2016 election. Trump announced the pardon through his tweet last week.
Later his decision draws a lot of criticism from many Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and D-Calif. They described his pardon as ‘an act of grave corruption.’ But, Sen. Lindsey Graham praised Trump’s move, Graham is a close ally, and he argued that ‘Flynn was the victim of an investigation which is completely politically motivated.’
But, Joe Biden did comment or address Trump’s pardon. Meantime, transition aids also did not respond to a comment request. But, President-elect raised the issue about pre-emptive pardons when he was in an interview on Thursday. Biden said, ‘in our administration, no one will see this kind of approach towards pardons. I will never choose Twitter for making policy announcements.’
Divided nation: There is a broad power
The reaction was muted entirely for Flynn’s pardon and underscored that the president having broad clemency powers should be increasingly viewed. Democrats always express outrage, and it is evident that Trump supporters cheer. With that division, most of the experts said, ‘we can partly explain why some percentage of Americans shrug their shoulders.’
A law professor at Michigan State University, Brian Kalt, said, ‘he has a huge and loyal base, and the base will accept his explanation towards all his actions. Hence actions will likely be towards his people, and hence he has pardoned. There is nothing wrong, and it needs to be protected from that deep state.’