On Friday, President Trump signaled that he could consider pardoning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and who is currently cooperating with the agency in their investigation into Russian election interference. Trump, who was headed to an FBI graduation ceremony, was stopped by the press on his way out. Here’s what he said:
This sent the Left into paroxysms of outrage. How could Trump say such a thing in the midst of an ongoing investigation? Isn’t this evidence that Trump wants to engage in a cover-up before all the evidence has been gathered?
It’s not smart for Trump to say this — if he wants to pardon Flynn, he ought to just do so or wait to do so until the time he deems right. But putting this material out there merely makes it look like he’s trying to stymie Flynn, to prevent him from talking with the FBI. With that said, the only charges Flynn has been hit with involve him lying about speaking with the Russian government after the election, and concerning matters that would be within his purview as incoming National Security Advisor. Flynn’s case right now looks more like Scooter Libby than Watergate.
Trump was also asked when he knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI — in other words, did he ask FBI Director James Comey to let Flynn off the hook while knowing that Flynn had lied to the FBI? Trump didn’t answer directly:
None of this makes Trump look particularly good. But it’s important to note that the FBI still has yet to come up with a shred of evidence of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and that all charges brought thus far have been ancillary to that central case.