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Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon
Top House Republicans praised President Trump on Wednesday for pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to FBI agents.
GOP lawmakers, from leadership to rank-and-file members, said Trump made the right call in granting a full pardon to his first national security adviser. They also took the opportunity to blast Democrats and the FBI.
"President @realDonaldTrump is right to pardon the respected three-star general," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.
The No. 2 House Republican, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), leveled his criticism at former FBI Director James Comey, alleging that Flynn's prosecution was politically motivated.
"The left and Comey's FBI destroyed General Flynn's life to try to take down @realDonaldTrump. What happened to him never should have been allowed to happen in America. Justice has been served. It's long overdue to hold the people behind it accountable," he tweeted.
Flynn, who was Trump's first national security adviser, pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation but attempted to withdraw his guilty plea in January 2020 after changing attorneys. The Department of Justice later sought to drop the charges against him, arguing the false statements were not "material" to the probe.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who played a leading role in defending the president during the impeachment proceedings, tweeted that it was "100% the right call to pardon."
"He shouldn't have ever been targeted like this in the first place. One item remains...Crimes and other misconduct were committed against @GenFlynn along the way and that justice still remains absolutely necessary today," he said.
Trump announced the pardon Wednesday afternoon by tweeting: "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!"
Democrats slammed Flynn's pardon.
"This pardon is undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump's rapidly diminishing legacy. Michael Flynn was fired from the White House for lying to senior officials. He pleaded guilty-twice-to lying to federal investigators about his communications with a foreign adversary," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who played a key role in the Trump impeachment inquiry, said in a statement.
"President Trump dangled this pardon to encourage Flynn to backtrack on his pledge to cooperate with federal investigators - cooperation that might have exposed the President's own wrongdoing. And it worked. Flynn broke his deal, recanted his plea, received the backing of the Attorney General over the objections of career prosecutors, and now has secured a pardon from the President of the United States," Nadler added.