Politics

Obamagate: Clemency for All Involved?

Newly released documents regarding Michael Flynn also shed light on Roger Stone.

Harold Hutchison · Jul. 14, 2020

This past Friday saw the release of more documents to attorneys representing former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Among those documents were notes from a readout of Flynn’s fateful interview with FBI agents at the White House just days after the Trump administration took office.

The readout shows that the FBI determined Flynn was not a Russian agent, that his allegedly misleading responses were not borne from any criminal intent, and that the agents themselves believed he was being truthful. In short, a rogue operation framed an innocent man. Those notes make it clear that the only crimes that took place during the interview were those concocted by the FBI personnel who devised the infamous anti-Trump “insurance policy” mentioned in text messages between agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Yes, there was corruption involved in the Flynn case, but not where Trump critics think it was. The FBI’s behavior here calls into question the entire Robert Mueller probe, and it suggests there may have been misconduct in other cases, like that of 67-year-old Roger Stone, whose sentence President Donald Trump recently commuted. Indeed, a fair reading of those Flynn notes makes it hard to fathom the outrage over Trump’s decision on Stone.

Like Flynn, Stone was charged with process crimes — that is, crimes unrelated to the overarching “Russia collusion” charge. The FBI’s arrest of Stone following a heavily armed predawn raid of his home generated plenty of controversy, not least of which because a CNN crew just happened to be there with cameras rolling. Stone’s case is not as clear-cut as Flynn’s, but the well-documented pattern of abuse in these cases is reason enough for deep suspicion.

Contrary to the assertions of the Never-Trump cadres, the president’s commutation of Stone’s sentence seems perfectly reasonable given the increasing taint of the Mueller probe. Were the subject of this investigation anyone other than Donald Trump, many more Americans would be troubled by what took place.

As we’ve said before, our resilient nation can withstand its share of discord and controversy, but it cannot survive a two-tiered system of justice. When those charged with enforcing our laws are found to be at fault, it’s perfectly reasonable for the president to set matters right. Given the known abuses we’ve seen during the Mueller probe, both Michael Flynn and Roger Stone (and perhaps others) are deserving of such consideration. Their greatest “crime,” it seems, is their association with President Donald Trump.

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