A Justified Pardon

Michael Flynn by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 2.0

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency.

You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was a good choice for national-security adviser or has conducted himself prudently and honorably the last several years (he hasn’t) to acknowledge that this is so.

Flynn should never have been the subject of an FBI investigation; the FBI’s behavior in interviewing Flynn was reprehensible; and the pardon restores the appropriate balance of prosecutorial power, which was put askew by the misconduct of federal district-court judge Emmet Sullivan.


It is due only to Judge Sullivan’s unhinged outbursts that Flynn was not convicted and sentenced on December 18, 2018. That is when Flynn, wanting at the time to put a sorry chapter behind him, appeared before Sullivan for what was anticipated to be sentencing.

Michael Flynn by Mike Licht is licensed under CC BY 2.0