Rep. Liz Cheney rebukes former Trump advisor Michael Flynn for suggesting a coup ‘should happen’ in the US

liz cheney gop white supremacy
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming).

  • Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday pushed back on Michael Flynn’s comments about a coup in the US.
  • “No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States,” she tweeted.
  • Flynn suggested that a coup, like the one in Myanmar, should happen in the US. He has since walked back his comments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming rebuked Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, for appearing to endorse a coup in the US similar to the one in Myanmar in February.

“No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted Monday, referring to comments Flynn made over the weekend at a QAnon conference in Dallas.

Flynn, a keynote speaker at the four-day convention, has peddled conspiracy theories endorsed by the far-right movement, which broadly believes in the existence of a “deep state” cabal of pedophiles.

During a panel on Sunday, an audience member asked Flynn: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here.”

“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded, according to footage of the interaction that later circulated on Twitter.

Other prominent attendees at the event, called the For God & Country Patriot Roundup, included pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos, and GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, a Trump ally.

In February, Myanmar’s military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. The military junta has since imprisoned more than 4,400 protestors and killed at least 841, according to data compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit human rights organization.

Flynn on Monday attempted to walk back his remarks and accused the “media” of “manipulating” his words.

“Let me be VERY CLEAR – There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort,” Flynn wrote on Telegram, a social media platform favored by far-right groups.

Flynn served as Trump’s first national security advisor for 22 days before resigning. He later pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the US. Trump ultimately pardoned him last November.

Flynn was thrust into the spotlight in the QAnon universe after he baselessly repeated that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Followers of the QAnon movement have also praised the coup in Myanmar and shown support for a coup in the US, according to reporting by Media Matters for America.

Cheney has emerged as a fierce opponent of Trump and his allies following the January 6 Capitol riot. She has condemned his false claims about the 2020 race and voted to impeach him. House Republicans booted her from her leadership position last month over her stance.

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Michael Flynn denies suggesting a Myanmar-style military coup should happen in the US

michael flynn
In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

  • Michael Flynn appeared to say there “should” be a Myanmar-style coup in the US.
  • The former national security adviser backtracked the statement on Monday.
  • In February, Myanmar’s military overthrew its elected government and arrested its leaders.
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Former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who worked briefly under former President Donald Trump, said Monday that there was “NO reason” for a military coup in the United States – one day after he appeared to suggest the opposite at a QAnon-themed convention over the weekend.

“Let me be VERY CLEAR – There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort,” Flynn said in a post on Telegram, a social-media app that has been favored by far-right groups.

“Any reporting of any other belief by me is a boldface fabrication based on twisted reporting at a lively panel at a conference of Patriotic Americans who love this country, just as I do,” Flynn added to his 227,000 subscribers.

But Flynn’s comments Monday were at odds with those he made a day earlier at the For God & Country Patriot Roundup conference in Dallas. Attendees included Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, George Papadopoulos, and other prominent peddlers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which baselessly alleges the existence of a “deep state” cabal of pedophiles.

“I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here,” an audience member asked Flynn, who is seen as something of a celebrity in the QAnon universe, during a panel.

“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded.

Video of the interaction circulated across social media immediately following Flynn’s remarks Sunday. In his Telegram post on Monday, Flynn claimed the “media” was “manipulating” his words.

In February, the Myanmar military overthrew the nation’s democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. More than 4,400 political prisoners have been arrested since the coup began and 840 have been killed by the military junta as it attempts to silence dissent, according to research from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit organization that has been tracking and uploading the data.

“I am no stranger to media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my response to a question asked at the conference: There is no reason it (a coup) should happen here (in America),” Flynn wrote Monday.

Flynn served as national security adviser under Trump for 22 days before resigning. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador, though he later retracted his plea and was pardoned by the former president last November.

As Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan previously reported, Flynn has previously echoed the rhetoric of QAnon supporters, including last year the baseless theory that Dominion Voting Systems, which sells electronic voting hardware, rigged the 2020 election in President Joe Biden’s favor. There is no evidence to support that claim.

In July last year, he shared a video to Twitter espousing QAnon’s main slogan.

As CNN reported Monday, Flynn continued to repeat false claims about the 2020 election during last weekend’s convention, saying, “Trump won. He won the popular vote, and he won the Electoral College vote.” Trump won neither the popular vote nor the Electoral College vote.

Many followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which centered on the false narrative that Trump was fighting a fictional cabal of human traffickers, have refused to accept last year’s election results in the wake of Biden’s ascension to the presidency. QAnon followers and their theories were directly linked to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol that led to five deaths.

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Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn said the US should have a coup like Myanmar, where the military overthrew the democratically elected government

myanmar
Anti-coup protesters march with homemade air rifles as one of them holds sign showing support for a civilian-formed federal army during a protest march in Yangon, Myanmar, Saturday, April 3, 2021.

  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn spoke at a QAnon conference in Dallas this weekend.
  • When asked about the coup in Myanmar, Flynn said that “it should happen here.”
  • Myanmar’s military overthrew the democratically elected government and has killed hundreds of people.
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Michael Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, told a crowd at a QAnon conference in Dallas, Texas, this weekend that the US should have a coup like the one in Myanmar.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew its democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. The coup immediately sparked protests across the country, prompting the junta to launch a campaign against its own citizens.

Upwards of 800 Burmese people, including at least 40 children, have been killed, according to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 4,000 people have been arrested.

Flynn, who has become a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory, was a main attraction at the event, held at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

In a video shared on Twitter, an attendee asks Flynn: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here.”

The crowd immediately cheers, followed by Flynn’s response: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.”

QAnon communities have praised the Myanmar coup and endorsed the idea that it should happen in the US, according to Media Matters for America.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia. He later accused the Justice Department of entrapment and moved to withdraw his guilty plea. In November, Trump pardoned him.

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The Omni Dallas hotel is hosting a QAnon conference starring Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn

The Omni Dallas Hotel is hosting guests for a four-day QAnon conference called For God & Country Patriot Roundup which will feature prominent conservatives including former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

The conference began on Friday with a VIP meet-and-greet reception at the hotel’s Texas Spice restaurant and will last through Memorial Day.

According to the events site, keynote speakers include Flynn, attorney Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and George Papadopoulos.

The Omni has given the group a discount for those who reserve a room, the event’s site said.

A receptionist told Insider that the hotel was sold out but refused to say if it was sold out for this event and did not provide any additional information.

“Although this has been a time of uncertainty for many, it is also a time of excitement as we witness political history being made before our eyes,” says the event website. “What better time and place to get together to fellowship and celebrate with your Patriot family?!?”

Flynn was former President Donald Trump’s national security advisor for less than a month and resigned over reports that he had lied about his contact with a Russian official.

In December 2017 he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time. Trump eventually pardoned him late last year.

Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan reported that after his pardon Flynn has frown as a prominent QAnon figure and deepened his ties to figures like Powell.

Photos from the event posted on Twitter by Alex Kaplan, a senior researcher at Media Matters for America, show Flynn helping auction what appears to be a flag quilt with a “Q” embroidered on it.

Kaplan said organizers of the conference said Flynn, Wood, and Mike Lindell would all sign.

Flynn and other keynote speakers including Powell have embraced conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from Trump.

Last week, Flynn said he believed that the COVID-19 pandemic was fabricated to distract from the 2020 election.

“Why? Because everything, everything, and this is my truth, what I believe, everything is a distraction to what happened on November 3,” he continued. “Everything we hear about Covid, and how Covid started before November 3, it is all meant to control, it is all meant to gain control of a society to be able to force decisions on society, instead of allowing ‘we the people’ to make decisions.”

Powell waged a number of lawsuits to try and overturn the election results. Dominion Voting Systems is suing him for $1.3 billion in damages in a defamation lawsuit after she repeatedly falsely claimed their voting machines were rigged.

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Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn claims the COVID-19 pandemic was fabricated to distract from the 2020 election

michael flynn
Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on February 11, 2014 .

  • Michael Flynn says the coronavirus pandemic was made up to distract from the 2020 election.
  • The former Trump advisor said Friday he thinks COVID-19 was fabricated “to gain control” of society.
  • Flynn is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory and pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI.
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Former national security advisor Michael Flynn said that he believes the coronavirus pandemic was fabricated to distract from the 2020 election.

Flynn, who has become a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory, falsely claimed in an interview Friday that the virus was made up before November 3 last year “to gain control” of society.

“When you look around the world, why do all these places not have the problems that we keep getting beat over the head and shoulders on in this country when it comes to Covid?” Flynn said, according to The Independent.

Read more: 8 former Biden staffers with top jobs at Amazon, Facebook, Walgreens, and Fox are part of the president’s growing network among the corporate elite

“Why? Because everything, everything, and this is my truth, what I believe, everything is a distraction to what happened on November 3,” he continued. “Everything we hear about Covid, and how Covid started before November 3, it is all meant to control, it is all meant to gain control of a society to be able to force decisions on society, instead of allowing ‘we the people’ to make decisions.”

Watch the interview below:

Flynn also claimed he had taken hydroxychloroquine – the anti-malaria prescription drug touted by Former President Trump as a COVID-19 cure – for 30 years.

The drug, which is often given to US military members to prevent malaria in foreign countries, has been proven not to help against COVID-19, multiple studies have shown. Flynn is a retired United States Army lieutenant general.

Flynn served as Former President Donald Trump’s national security advisor in January and February 2017 before resigning over reports that he had lied about his contact with a Russian official.

He later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time. Trump eventually pardoned him.

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Roger Stone said Michael Flynn should be ‘drafted’ by Trump supporters for 2024 run if Trump decides not to

roger stone
Roger Stone.

  • Roger Stone said if former President Donald Trump doesn’t run for office again, Michael Flynn should be drafted by his supporters.
  • “I think we need one candidate who can galvanize the America First movement,” Stone told right-wing news outlet Newsmax.
  • Flynn is a former national security advisor who Trump pardoned in November 2020.
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Roger Stone said if former president Donald Trump does not run for office in 2024, former national security advisor Michael Flynn “should be drafted” by his supporters.

Stone is a longtime Trump ally and former campaign advisor. He was previously convicted of multiple felonies linked to Russia inference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump later pardoned Stone in December 2020.

Flynn is also a staunch Trump ally who was pardoned by the then-president last November after he pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to investigators as part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.

Flynn and Stone are both high-profile conspiracy theory peddlers who have remained supportive of Trump by touting baseless claims including those related to the 2020 presidential election.

Stone told right-wing news outlet Newsmax on Saturday that Flynn is currently “not a candidate for anything,” but he would back his candidacy if Trump doesn’t enter the 2024 race.

He is not interested in running for public office, but he is interested in helping save this country,” Stone told Newsmax.

“If President Trump decides to run, I am 100% in his corner. He is my first choice in 2024, he’s been my first choice since 1988” he said. “In the event that he decides not to run, I think we need one candidate who can galvanize the America First movement.”

Stone compared Flynn to President Dwight Eisenhower, a “non-politician” who he said “should be drafted by the American people” and Trump’s supporters.

Despite his repeating of baseless election fraud claims and an impeachment trial over his alleged role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Trump has remained at the forefront of reports around the GOP bid in the 2024 election.

Most recently, Trump told Fox News in April he was “very seriously” considering a 2024 run. Insider’s Thomas Colson previously reported that some top Republican figures, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said they would back the former president’s potential run.

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Ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russia, doesn’t know the Pledge of Allegiance, video suggests

michael flynn
In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo, then-Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn appeared at a campaign event for Lin Wood on Sunday.
  • Flynn began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for the crowd but stopped after starting the wrong word.
  • Flynn plead guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about contact with Russia, but was pardoned by Trump.
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It appears former national security adviser Michael Flynn doesn’t know the words to the Pledge of Allegiance.

On Sunday, Flynn appeared at a campaign event for Lin Wood, a pro-Trump attorney, held at the Honkeytonk Saloon in Ladson, South Carolina, The Post and Courier reported. Hundreds of supporters attended the rally, including the Bikers for Trump group.

In a video of the event shared on Twitter, Flynn appeared on stage and announced he was going to say the pledge of allegiance and that the audience was going to say it along with him.

Read more: ‘QAnon: Into the Storm’ director Cullen Hoback talks about how 2 random guys trolled the entire world and inspired a deadly insurrection

“I want you to hear, not just listen, I want you to hear every single word of the Pledge of Allegiance,” Flynn said. “That is our pledge to each other, that is our pledge to this country.”

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” Flynn began. He then started to say what sounds like “indiv-” before cutting himself off as the crowd continued.

After a moment, he picked back up with the crowd to finish it off: “under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The full Pledge of Allegiance is: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Flynn served as national security adviser for President Donald Trump from January 2017 to February 2017 before resigning over reports he had lied about contact with a Russian official. In December 2017, he pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigations about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time.

He later accused the Justice Department of entrapment and moved to withdraw his guilty plea. In November of 2020, he was pardoned by Trump. Flynn has become a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory, Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan reported, deepening his ties with conspiracy promoters like Wood and Sidney Powell.

The event Sunday was in support of Wood’s campaign for South Carolina GOP chairman.

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Michael Flynn could face thousands of dollars in penalties as the Army reviews a Pentagon watchdog report

sidney powell michael flynn
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, leaves the federal court with his lawyer Sidney Powell, left, following a status conference with Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019.

  • The Army is reviewing a watchdog report on money Michael Flynn earned from foreign governments.
  • The report is from a delayed Department of Defense investigation which was launched in 2017.
  • The investigation was paused because of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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The US Army is reviewing an internal watchdog report from the Department of Defense into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, The Washington Post reported.

In April 2017, the Pentagon launched an investigation into money Flynn received from Russian and Turkish interests after his retirement but before he joined former President Donald Trump’s administration.

In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to investigators as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Flynn admitted that he misled investigators in a January 2017 interview about his communications with Russia’s then-ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

He was initially cooperative with the FBI, but in 2019, he reversed course, fired his entire defense team, and hired Sidney Powell as his lawyer. In January 2020, Flynn tried to retract his guilty plea.

Trump pardoned Flynn last November.

CNN reported that then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe investigation into the 2016 election had put the DoD’s investigation into Flynn on hold.

The DoD Inspector General’s office did not reply to Insider’s email request for comment at the time of publication.

DoD spokeswoman Dwrena Allen told CNN that following Flynn’s pardon, they were granted permission from the Department of Justice to resume the investigation, which was completed on January 27, 2021.

The investigation looked into whether or not Flynn violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which stipulates that officials such as retired military members can’t accept money or gifts from foreign governments.

The Post reported that the payments from Russia were from 2015, when Flynn was paid $45,000 for appearing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gala dinner for the state-controlled outlet RT. His company, Flynn Intel Group, was also paid $530,000 by a Netherlands-based company, Inovo BV, in 2016. The company was founded by a Turkish businessman and lobbies on behalf of Turkey.

In 2017, the DoD said that Flynn did not seek permission to work as a foreign agent on behalf of Turkey.

The results of the report could mean, Flynn, who retired from the Army as a three-star general in 2014, could face tens of thousands of dollars in penalties.

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Michael Flynn reportedly shot down an offer to be Donald Trump’s chief of staff because of legal debts from the Russia investigation

Michael Flynn
  • Donald Trump reportedly wanted Michael Flynn to be his chief of staff in the final weeks of his term.
  • Flynn was the short-tenured former national security advisor who pled guilty to misleading the FBI during the Russia investigation.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In the final days of his term, President Donald Trump considered making Michael Flynn his chief of staff, according to the New York Times

Flynn was the former national security advisor who was fired just weeks into the job.

He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to investigators as part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Specifically, he admitted to misleading FBI investigators in a January 2017 interview about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US at the time, during the 2016 transition period.

Trump in November pardoned him

“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”

A month later, Trump floated the idea of bringing Flynn back into the White House, with just weeks to go before the transition to the Biden administration, the Times reported. 

At a White House meeting, Trump said he wanted Flynn to look over the FBI. He also considered establishing Flynn as his chief of staff, according to the Times. 

It’s unclear whether Trump was serious about the suggestions, the Times reported. Flynn declined the offers because he wanted to pay down the legal debts from participating in the Russia investigation. 

In the public eye, Flynn has continued to be one of Trump’s most ardent supporters. He was booted off Twitter in January, after using the platform to urge Trump to use martial law to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Joe Biden won the election in November. But in the weeks following, Trump and his supporters – like Flynn – continuously made baseless allegations of fraud to try an make Americans believe the results were invalid. 

Flynn has also been one of most visible backers of QAnon conspiracy theory movement. In 2019, he was scheduled to speak at a QAnon-organized conference.

Flynn leveraged his QAnon fanbase to pay down the legal bills he amassed during the Russia investigation, the Times reported. Flynn has been selling merchandise like T-shirts and hats featuring the “Where we go one, we go all” QAnon motto. 

– Additional reporting by Sonam Sheth.

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Trump’s pardons may be poorly worded enough to leave some people on the hook

Trump turkey pardon 2019
President Donald Trump gives a presidential ‘pardon’ to the National Thanksgiving Turkey Butter in the Rose Garden of the White House November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. While Butter may be safe, Paul Manafort still faces risks, experts say.

  • President Trump’s pardons leave some of their subjects open to additional prosecution, experts say.
  • His former campaign chair Paul Manafort could still be prosecuted for specific crimes he wasn’t pardoned for.
  • Even Michael Flynn, who received a wider-ranging pardon, could still have it tested by courts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On his way out of office, President Donald Trump issued more than 100 pardons, mostly to his personal friends and political allies.

A number of those pardons were for people convicted of federal crimes linked to the Mueller investigation – including his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and advisors Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos.

Trump was sure to malign Mueller’s investigation in his pardon notices. The press release for Manafort’s pardon, for example, said he was “prosecuted in the course of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, which was premised on the Russian collusion hoax.”

Though the president’s pardon powers are broad, a number of prosecutors and experts on clemency laws don’t believe those people are off the hook just yet.

Trump pardoned Manafort for his specific convictions. It’s much more narrowly tailored than the pardon Trump gave to Flynn, for “any and all offenses arising out of the facts and circumstances” brought by Robert Mueller’s office.

It’s also narrower than the pardon President Gerald Ford gave to former President Richard Nixon, which covered a broad timeframe.

“It says ‘for his conviction’ and that’s it. It’s just for the crimes for which he was convicted,” Kimberly Wehle, a University of Baltimore law professor, told Insider. “That is a different wording than Richard Nixon received under his pardon, which is for ‘all conceivable crimes.'”

Manafort
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, in 2019. Trump pardoned him in 2020.

Wehle, who worked under Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the Justice Department, said presidents must specify the specific crimes being pardoned.

Beyond that, prosecutors can always try to bring different charges using the same set of underlying facts, she said.

The same point was brought up by Andrew Weissman, Mueller’s second-in-command, in an article for the blog Just Security on Wednesday. Weissman argued that while Flynn’s pardon left “no room for now holding Flynn to account for his past felonious conduct,” the pardon for Manafort was full of holes.

“Specifically, the pardon is solely for the crimes of conviction … That leaves numerous crimes as to which Manafort can still be prosecuted, as in Virginia there were 10 hung counts,” Weissman wrote. “In Washington, the situation is even more wide open. In that district, Manafort pleaded to a superseding information containing two conspiracy charges, while the entire underlying indictment – containing numerous crimes from money laundering, to witness tampering, to violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act – now remains open to prosecution as there was no conviction for those charges.”

Read more: Could Trump mass-pardon his supporters who rioted at the Capitol? Constitutional-law experts weigh in.

There are other obstacles, too.

Prosecutors need to make sure they don’t run afoul of the statue of limitations – though Manafort waived some of those protections, Weissman said. And a judge might decide that prosecutors are simply repackaging the same actions for which a person was pardoned into different crimes, which may run afoul of the Constitution’s double jeopardy protection.

But Wehle said there’s plenty of case law for judges to review. While federal prosecutors have rarely tried to go around presidential pardons, state-level prosecutors have often brought new criminal charges following governors’ state-level pardons and succeeded.

“Say there was a robbery and a murder, and you’re indicted and prosecuted for the robbery, and then later they come back and indict you and prosecute you for the murder,” Wehle said. “I don’t think there’s this a problem with fairness in there.”

Experts think Flynn may not be safe either

Some pardon attorneys even believe that federal prosecutors may still be able to bring new charges against Flynn.

Margaret Love, a clemency attorney and US Department of Justice pardon attorney between 1990 and 1997, believes the pardon for Flynn may have asserted powers that Trump didn’t actually have.

Love told Insider that while Trump could grant Flynn clemency for the crimes he was prosecuted for, a judge might decide that the “any and all offenses arising out of the facts and circumstances” part of it might not hold water.

“The president can assert whatever power he has, but at issue is whether he has the power,” Love said, adding: “I believe there is a strong argument that the constitutional pardon power requires a degree of specificity as to what crime it is pardoning.”

sidney powell michael flynn
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, leaves the federal court with his lawyer Sidney Powell, in September 2019.

Even the broad pardon Ford gave to Nixon, Love said, has never been tested. The Justice Department never brought the issue before a court to decide whether the sweeping nature of the pardon was valid.

The question of whether Flynn’s pardon would prevent future prosecutions now depends on the appetite of Justice Department prosecutors, and it’s an open question whether Biden’s selection for attorney general, Merrick Garland, would choose to bring another case against him.

“Whoever is the prosecutor in the Flynn case will undoubtedly be looking closely at [the pardon] wording, just like Andrew Weissman was looking closely at [the] Manafort pardon,” Love said. “Then they will decide what to do.”

Attorneys for Manafort and Flynn didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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