Obama-appointed Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has declared that President Trump’s pardon of Gen. Michael Flynn implies a “confession” of guilt.
Judge Sullivan, the presiding federal judge in the trial of former National Security Advisor Flynn, said Tuesday that Flynn’s pardon did not mean that he was actually innocent.
In a memorandum opinion issued as he finally closed the case, Sullivan made a number of vicious comments towards both Trump and Flynn based on claims that were never proven to be true, such as the claim that Flynn had lied to FBI agents.
Sullivan also maliciously claimed that Flynn “personally asked for a favor from the Russian Ambassador that undermined the policy of the sitting President prior to the President-Elect taking office.” In fact, as the transcript of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador show, he simply asked that Russia not escalate after the Obama administration had imposed sanctions.
Sullivan also wrote that were he permitted to rule on the Department of Justice’s motion to drop the charges against Flynn, he would have refused, because he did not trust the government’s reasons.
He then claimed that a pardon did not mean Flynn was innocent, and actually proved he was guilty:
On the other hand, a pardon does not necessarily render “innocent” a defendant of any alleged violation of the law. Indeed, the Supreme Court has recognized that the acceptance of a pardon implies a “confession” of guilt. … [T]he pardon “does not, standing alone, render [Mr. Flynn] innocent of the alleged violation.”