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Tag: donald trump

Flynn Says He Can ‘Breathe Freedom and Liberty’ After Trump Pardons Him

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said Thursday he can “breathe freedom and liberty” a day after President Trump pardoned him. 

“For the first time in more than four years and because of my fearless attorney, Sidney Powell, the Guardian Angel of American Justice, and thousands of good people with endless energy rallying together on my behalf, I breathe freedom and liberty today,” Flynn said in a lengthy statement.

Flynn, 61-year-old retired lieutenant general, is Trump’s first national security advisor and was the target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department. 

“Never again should any family or individual be so viciously targeted, maligned, smeared, and threatened such has been the experience of my family and I. Not you and your loved ones, not me nor President Trump, our First Lady, and the Trump children,” he said.

“Stand with me today in renouncing this betrayal of trust that has burdened our nation and proclaim with one united voice across this land that we will never again allow the rightful power of the citizens of this country to be uprooted, undercut, usurped, or held hostage by a coup against our nation, a duly elected President or any future president of these United States.”

Trump is expected to issue more pardons before leaving office. 

Update: Trump Pardons Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

Update: 5:12 p.m. Wednesday: As expected, President Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

On late Wednesday afternoon he tweeted:

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!


From Wednesday Morning

President Trump plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn before leaving office, according to Axios and The New York Times

Flynn, 61-year-old retired lieutenant general, is among a number of people that Trump plans to pardon before his team ends, sources told the news outlets. 

Flynn is Trump’s first national security advisor and also was the target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department. 

Attorney General William Barr, who has intervened in cases involving the president’s allies, has asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case in May. Sullivan has not made a decision

In April, weeks before the Justice Department intervened, Trump tweeted, “What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!”

When asked about a potential pardon of Flynn in July, Trump said “I don’t have a decision to make” about a potential pardon for Flynn “until I find out what’s going to happen” with Flynn’s attempt to get his conviction tossed.

“I think he’s doing very well with respect to his case,” Trump told reporters at the time. “I hope that he’s going to be able to win it.”

Two Top Homeland Security Officials Forced to Resign Amid Trump Purge

By Steve Neavling

Two top Homeland Security officials have been forced to resign by the White House as President Trump continues to remove anyone who hasn’t demonstrated “complete loyalty.” 

Bryan Ware, a senior policy aide at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Valerie Boyd, the top official for international affairs at Homeland Security, are the latest national security officials to resign under pressure, The Washington Post reports.

“They’re looking for complete loyalty, and someone with experience serving different administrations is not perceived as sufficiently loyal,” one person who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Post

Boyd previously served in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. 

In her resignation letter, Boyd told acting secretary Chad Wolf that she hopes the administration will “act with honor” by creating a peaceful transition to a new presidency. 

“It has been my belief that people of character should support the institution of the Presidency and work within it to inform and influence policy decisions that reflect well on the people’s government,” Boyd wrote. “This belief has been tested many times these past few years, and it is my fervent prayer that I made the best possible choices. I wish you and our colleagues across the government the strength to act with honor in the months ahead.”

Ware told The Post, “I’m proud of the work that I did. I’m proud of what the agency accomplished and proud to have had the privilege to serve the country.”

Neither the White House nor Homeland Security would comment. 

McCabe Says FBI Had Sufficient Reasons to Believe Trump Was a ‘Danger to National Security’

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in previous testimony before Congress.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday defended the bureau’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign’s links to Russia, saying the bureau had reason to believe Trump was a national security threat. 

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, McCabe also said the FBI had sufficient reasons to investigate whether Trump obstructed the investigation and was a counterintelligence threat, The Washington Post reports.

“It became pretty clear to us that he did not want us to continue investigating what the Russians had done,” McCabe said. 

He added, “We had many reasons at that point to believe that the president might himself pose a danger to national security and that he might have engaged in obstruction of justice, if the firing of the director and those other things were geared towards eliminating or stopping our investigation of Russian activity.”

McCabe’s testimony is part of the committee’s inquiry into the Russia investigation.  

Following the testimony, Trump slammed McCabe, calling him “an ignorant fool.” 

“Andrew McCabe was exposed for who he is today in the U.S. Senate,” Trump tweeted. “He was totally destroyed – an ignorant fool. The great people of the FBI must make sure that he and his former boss, James Comey, pay the price for what they have done to the reputation of the FBI.”

The Senate committee has already questioned Comey, as well as former deputy attorneys general Rod Rosenstein and Sally Yates, all of whom defended the FBI’s investigation. 

Wray Has Key Support, but His Job May Depend on Who Wins Presidential Election

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s job may hinge on who wins the presidential election, but one thing is certain: He has the support of some key Republicans and the FBI Agents Association. 

Sen. Jerry Moran, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FBI, told The Wall Street Journal that Wray “has professionally led the bureau through its complex missions to reduce violent crime, combat foreign threats and terrorism, preserve the integrity of the financial system, and protect our children from exploitation.”

Moran said he would “continue to support” Wray.

Trump has lambasted Wray, calling him “disappointing” in October for failing to cast doubt on the integrity of the election. Trump also said Wray should have opened an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Jim Biden’s family.

After firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Trump announced the next month on Twitter that he was appointing Wray.

Congress also has shown support for the FBI by increasing its budget since Wray was appointed. 

In letters to Trump and Biden, the FBI Agents Association called on the next president to ensure Wray is able to finish his 10-year term for the “stability, credibility and integrity” of the bureau.

FBI Agents Association Urges Trump, Biden to Allow Wray to Finish 10-year Term

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) is calling on the next president to ensure Christopher Wray is able finish his 10-year term for the stability, credibility, and integrity” of the bureau.  

In letters to President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the group that represents more than 14,000 active and retired special agents says Wray “operates indepdently from partisan activities.”

“He has not led the Bureau in a political manner, and politics should not determine his fate as Director,” FBIAA President Brian O’Hare writes. “While the President can remove an FBI Director, doing so could lead to instability and damage to the Bureau’s operations, which is why Congress intended to insulate the position of Director from political whims.”

The letters come amid speculation that Trump, in the event that he wins reelection in November, plans to dump Wray. Trump has lashed out at his FBI director for failing to announce an investigation into Biden and his family’s business activities. 

The FBI has a tradition of not intervening in presidential races.

“Unanticipated changes in Bureau leadership are challenging and can undermine stability, making it more difficult to effectively protect our country,” O’Hare writes. “Right now, the FBI is confronting an even more daunting threat environment than in 2011—with threats from both domestic and foreign terrorists, espionage, cyber-attacks, and traditional crimes. This country needs stability in leadership of the Bureau during these challenging times, and creating upheavals at the Bureau after the elections can only undermine the goal of protecting the safety and security of our country.”   

Trump appointed Wray in 2017 after firing then-Director James Comey. 

“Director Wray has led the FBI through a complex period, and is ensuring that FBI Special Agents remain focused on fighting the criminals and terrorists who threaten our safety,” O’Hare writes. “No matter the outcome of next week’s election, the men and women of the FBI are urging whomever becomes our next President to allow Director Wray to lead the Bureau and serve our country.” 

Judge Orders DOJ to Confirm Evidence in Michael Flynn Case After Some Documents Were Altered

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has until today to verify each piece of evidence it has turned over in the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser.

Judge Emmet Sullivan on Friday ordered the DOJ to declare under the penalty of perjury that the evidence it has relied on to dismiss the perjury charge is accurate, Politico reports.

The unusual directive underscores the distrust between the judge and DOJ, which has admitted that two of its court documents were “inadvertently” altered. 

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. But he later fired his attorneys and asked to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was entrapped by the FBI and Justice Department. 

Attorney General William Barr, who has intervened in cases involving the president’s allies, asked the judge to dismiss the case in May. 

Sullivan balked and appointed former federal judge John Gleeson to argue against dropping the case. 

Increasingly Desperate Trump Tells Aides He Wants to Fire Wray for Not Investigating Biden Family

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

With less than two weeks before the election and trailing in the polls, President Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with FBI Director Christopher Wray for failing to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his family of corruption. 

Trump has repeatedly discussed canning Wray if reelected, The Washington Post reports, citing senior aides to the president. Trump wants an October surprise similar to the one that then-FBI Director James Comey delivered about Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The president has been pushing a dubious narrative that Biden and his family are corrupt because of widely disputed claims in a New York Post story. Trump has yet to indicate what crimes he believes Biden committed. 

Top Democrats are urging Wray to avoid launching a politically motivated investigation to influence the election. 

In a letter sent to Wray on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are urging Wray to “to resist pressure from President Trump and other partisan actors to take any actions intended to benefit President Trump politically on the eve of the election. Succumbing to such pressure would deeply undermine our national security interests and the credibility of law enforcement, and could have devastating consequences for the resiliency of our democracy.” 

“We are deeply concerned about the possibility that in response to these reports the Trump Administration will take actions before Election Day that would seek to damage the Democratic presidential candidate and undermine the rule of law,” Wyden and Schumer said.