According to attorney and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, President Donald Trump was “absolutely right” to pardon retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Breitbart reported.
Although he is a liberal Democrat, Dershowitz has earned himself the reputation of being a fair-minded thinker with a respect for the Constitution.
“Three cheers” for Trump
Dershowitz discussed Trump’s pardoning of Flynn, the former National Security Advisor in the Trump administration, during his podcast, The Dershow, on Friday.
“President Trump was absolutely right to pardon General Michael Flynn,” Dershowitz said. “Not only was it in his power to grant compassion, but it was part of his obligation to check and balance excesses of other branches of the government.”
“Three cheers for President Trump for pardoning Michael Flynn,” he added.
Trump announced his decision to pardon Flynn on Wednesday. Flynn was targeted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about a conversation that he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
During an appearance on Fox News in December 2017, Dershowitz commented on the plea deal.
“The last thing any prosecutor wants to do is to have to indict his primary witness for lying,” he said. “Because if you indict your witness for lying, it really means he’s not useful as a witness, he has no credibility. I’m sure the prosecutor was trying to indict him for some scheme or conspiracy that involved other people in the White House, but there is nothing there, and he had to, finally come down and indict him for lying, which makes him a useless witness.”
As Dershowitz explained Friday, Trump’s use of the pardon power was as textbook as it gets.
Following Flynn’s guilty plea, it was revealed that the FBI had planned to drop the case against him, having found no evidence of wrongdoing. It was then that anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok convinced his hire-ups to keep the case going. It had also been revealed that the FBI interviewed Flynn with the expressed purpose of trapping him in a lie and that, following that interview, the FBI did not think Flynn had lied to them intentionally.
Before being pardoned, Flynn had tried unsuccessfully to withdraw his guilty plea. The Department of Justice also requested that the case against Flynn be thrown out, but that request was rejected by District Judge Emmet Sullivan.
On Thanksgiving, Flynn released a statement recounting the horrible experience and expressing his gratitude for his pardon. “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,” he said.