Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Friday that President Trump should pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn amid his guilty plea for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
“If I was President Trump, I would just pardon Michael Flynn,” Gaetz told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton.
“I think that when you look at the testimony that Jim Comey gave where he said there was no indicia of lying from Flynn based on the reports that he received from agents, when you look at the fact that the conversations that Flynn was having, they’re kind of case in course part of regular transition meetings that occur all the time in this town, and whenever governments are changing around the world,” he said, referring to form FBI Director James Comey.
“I’m not troubled by Flynn’s conduct. I’m far more troubled by the fact that he seems to be in legal jeopardy so that there can be leverage built against the president,” he added.
Flynn pleaded guilty last year to one count of lying to FBI agents about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s election interference.
Mueller recommended in a heavily redacted filing last week that Flynn be spared jail time due to his assistance in the Russia probe and two other matters under investigation from the Justice Department.
Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that Flynn got a good deal because prosecutors were “embarrassed.”
“They gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated – the FBI said he didn’t lie and they overrode the FBI,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They want to scare everybody into making up stories that are not true by catching them in the smallest of misstatements. Sad!”
Flynn, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18, asked a judge to spare him prison time and instead sentence him to probation.
— Julia Manchester