The political left went into a collective hissy fit at the news that President Trump granted a full pardon to former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. If there was ever a case where there was a miscarriage of justice, it was this one, and the pardon was a long time coming. Flynn was set up by the Obama administration and railroaded by the FBI. Simply put, they went after him for something that was not a crime, then set up a perjury trap for him in order to get him fired as Trump’s national security advisor. Obama officials also withheld exculpatory evidence, launched and carried out a bogus investigation over claims of Russian collusion where there was no empirical evidence.
The efforts to target Flynn went all the way to the top. In fact, evidence shows that former Vice President Joe Biden suggested using the Logan Act to go after Flynn.
As George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley noted, however, the pardon shouldn’t have even been necessary. The case should have been dropped months ago after evidence presented by Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, showed that “corrupt agents” threatened Flynn’s son to pressure him into pleading guilty.
Nevertheless, the usual suspects on the left fell over each other to condemn the pardon.
But when Barack Obama pardoned retired Marine Corps general James E. Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI, just days before leaving office in 2017, they weren’t triggered at all.
Cartwright served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama, and was “a key member of Mr. Obama’s national security team in his first term and earned a reputation as the president’s favorite general,” according to the New York Times. Cartwright had leaked classified information regarding Iran’s nuclear program to the media and lied to FBI officials investigating those leaks. He faced up to two years in prison before Obama pardoned him.
Obama reportedly based his decision to pardon the former general on Cartwright’s “description of his motive, as well as because of a letter by Mr. Sanger saying that he had already learned about the program before speaking to the general and that the conversation with the general informed his thinking about which information to withhold.”
Cartwright had only pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI, not to disclosing classified information.
But the pardon of Michael Flynn was “undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy,” according to Jerry Nadler. Yeah, okay. Whatever.
There are far worse acts of clemency by Obama that the political left condoned, including those for terrorists and traitors.
Remember when Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning (you may also know him as Chelsea), who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks? He was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning was a traitor in every sense, but became a hero of the political left for declaring himself to be transgender, and Obama made his controversial commutation just days before leaving office. Manning maintains hero status amongst the left today.
Obama also commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera, the leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group. FALN was responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. An unrepentant Lopez-Rivera was serving a 70-year sentence when Obama set him free. The Congressional Black Caucus had repeatedly lobbied for Lopez’s release during the Obama years, and the commutation was met with praise from Democrats like Bill de Blasio, Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, Bernie Sanders, and others.
Obama also granted clemency to hundreds of drug offenders he claimed were non-violent and deserved a second chance, because of racism or something. It later came out that many of the people he released were actually violent offenders guilty of gun crimes. Obama granted more acts of clemency than any president since Truman, though he saved much of that executive use of power for the latter months and days of his presidency.
While there certainly must have been plenty of individuals Obama granted clemency to who legitimately deserved it, who in their right mind believes granting clemency to an unrepentant terrorist or a traitor responsible for the biggest national security breach in history was just?
The pardon of Michael Flynn corrects a gross abuse of power and injustice at the hands of the Obama-Biden administration. That Democrats are outraged over it, when they said nothing when Obama granted clemency to an unrepentant terrorist and a traitor, says a lot about the values of the Democratic Party.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis