We all know Mr. Trump will preemptively pardon virtually everybody left in his administration, his own children and son-in-law, along with Rudy Giuliani, former volunteer campaign manager Paul Manafort and anyone else who testified in the Mueller probe and may yet be vulnerable to prosecution or, more importantly, giving evidence against Donald J. Trump.
Trump has been America’s most fast and loose president, a man whose open abuse of power and obstruction of every investigation, including contesting and trying to obstruct the legal certification of an election, was supported by a group of powerful enablers. Senators, including the head juror at the impeachment trial, vowed to work closely with the president’s defense team to quickly acquit their leader. They argued that impeachment for mere abuse of power and obstruction of Congress was a naked political vendetta after a failed “witch hunt” led by Democrats irrationally furious that Trump beat “Crooked Hillary”. Apparently 74,000,000 of our fellow Americans agreed with those 51 or 52 senators who quickly acquitted old Honest Don, the self-proclaimed greatest friend of America’s coloreds since “Honest” Abe.
Here’s a quick run through the “Flynn thing” Trump asked James Comey to let go of during a private charm offensive he launched before firing the disloyal FBI director early in his term. You’ll recall that it was his firing of Comey, which he admitted on TV he did to stop the Russia probe, that forced the DOJ to appoint Special Prosecutor Mueller in the first place. So with this pardon of Flynn, ending the “Flynn thing,” we end where it all began.
Flynn, who led the “Lock her up!” chants at Trump rallies, became Trump’s first National Security Advisor. He didn’t disclose on his security clearance forms that he was on the payroll of Turkey at the time, or that he’d recently taken money from Russia. Which Trump understood, since if Flynn had done that he couldn’t have received security clearance or served as DNI.
Flynn then lied to Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian Ambassador during the transition. It had only been a few phone calls, to assure the Russians that Trump was going to lift the sanctions against them, sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in response to what was later proven to have been massive Russian interference to throw the 2016 election to Donald Trump.
This so-called evidence of “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference on behalf of Trump was found during a several round witch hunt that even included a Republican-led Senate Committee. All a huge lie, according to the Republican party who echoed the president’s strong feelings on the matter.
Flynn, who was quickly, reluctantly, fired by Trump after three weeks on the job, lied to the FBI. He was then charged with making false statements to the FBI. He signed a plea deal and became, for a while, a cooperating witness with the Mueller probe. He told the federal judge who accepted his guilty plea that he prayed and that God had urged him to come clean, to admit his past wrong actions and move on with his life.
Then, on the eve of sentencing, he hired a lawyer too crazy even for wild Rudy Giuliani and the current Trump dead-ender legal team, a raving and aggressive attorney named Sidney Powell. Recently she’s gotten a lot of bad press for appearing to be completely insane on television.
Powell convinced Flynn that he was the victim of a traitorous conspiracy and that, since he was actually innocent, that he must withdraw his guilty plea. She worked closely with Bill Barr, obtaining the entire FBI file from the DOJ. She and Barr agreed, after reviewing everything very carefully, that the crime Flynn had pleaded guilty to was not a crime, his lies had been “immaterial”, and besides, he had been trapped by unscrupulous, partisan FBI agents who hated Trump.
In other words, the things Flynn admitted lying about were not of any real legal consequence, certainly not crimes. They were the kind of lies anyone trapped by clever, vicious partisans from the FBI might have told, under the circumstances. Barr moved to withdraw the case, forget the guilty plea, make the whole thing just disappear.
The federal judge, Emmet Sullivan, a man of great integrity and long experience, would not oblige, and under the law, the case could only be dismissed after the judge reviewed it and signed off on the dismissal. Barr and Powell argued that the judge had no right to review the case and they made motions to the appellate court to overrule Sullivan’s insistence on holding a hearing before dismissing the case. They were joined in this plea by many top Republican Senators and Congressmen, acting as “friends of the court”.
Powell, with Barr’s support, convinced a three judge appellate panel to order Judge Sullivan to immediately dismiss the case by granting a very rare form of relief called a writ of mandamus.
Two of the three judges on the panel, both appointed by Mr. Trump, ruled that Mr. Trump’s discretionary power to prosecute was absolute as was his power to change his mind, with or without explanation to any judge, and that Sullivan was illegally attempting to usurp the Executive power granted by Article II of the Constitution.
The appellate judge who dissented pointed out that there was a clear legal test before mandamus could be ordered; namely that the person asking had no other legal relief available. Flynn had the ordinary appeal of anything Sullivan may have done at the hearing that he felt violated his rights and so was not eligible for a writ of mandamus.
Emmet Sullivan appealed the decision that had wrongly granted the writ of mandamus and the full Court of Appeals dismissed the Trump appointee’s legally feeble order. They ruled that Flynn had the ordinary appeal of anything Judge Sullivan might do at the hearing that he could argue violated his rights and so was not eligible for a writ of mandamus. The case was returned to Judge Sullivan who ordered a hearing.
Trump lost the election by a shade under 7,000,000 votes. He continues to deny that he lost the election, insisting, without any evidence, that his presidency was stolen by a vast conspiracy of vicious, dangerous, traitorous criminals — some of them in his own party. Bill Barr eventually admitted that the election was over, that there had been no proof of fraud that could have changed the result. Barr will probably be the next to be fired. Trump pardoned Flynn. The same day, Barr made a motion to Judge Sullivan insisting that he now immediately dismiss the case. Sullivan is weighing his option to tell Barr again to go fuck himself.
Pardon in hand, Mike Flynn immediately called for an armed overthrow of the elected government, a full-on military coup. The man Sullivan denounced in court as a traitor to his oath to serve this country was advocating open treason. Many of his military colleagues reacted quickly to denounce his exhortation to violent military overthrow of the legally elected government. You can’t teach sick fucking dogs new tricks, by the looks of it.
In an unrelated case, at least one person is currently on trial for an attempt to buy a presidential pardon through a large campaign contribution. This was revealed the other day by the judge hearing the case. The DOJ had kept this prosecution very quiet, the indictment came down in August.
Knowing it would look bad for Trump’s reelection that people had been indicted for attempting to buy pardons from him, Barr concealed the bribe-for-pardon (quid pro quo) case while highlighting an aggressive, international investigation that would supposedly — in October (surprise!) — prove Mueller’s team was a bunch of lying swine who illegally spied on Mr. Trump and trapped innocent men like General Mike Flynn. Barr also repeatedly carped on TV about massive vote-by-mail fraud as Trump’s new mega-donor Postmaster General was removing and dismantling hundreds of high speed mail sorting machinjoes in Democratic areas and yanking mailboxes off the streets in those same areas.
Justice, justice shall ye seek, yo.
And, totally unrelated to any of that sickening batshit — an instrumental I recorded as a rhythm track for some friends to improvise over. From 2009, Now Before I Go…