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Democratic leaders lambasted President Trump for pardoning his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday, condemning the move as a “brazen” abuse of power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Trump’s act was one of “grave corruption” and said that Flynn “must be held accountable” for a “serious and dangerous breach of our national security.”

“President Trump’s pardoning of Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his dealings with a foreign adversary, is an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Trump is again using the pardon power to protect those who lie to cover up his wrongdoing.”

Trump announced the decision Wednesday in a tweet after months of speculation that he would pardon his first national security adviser, who had pleaded guilty twice to knowingly making false statements to the FBI about a conversation he had during the presidential transition period with the then-Russian ambassador.

Flynn later worked to withdraw his guilty plea in January 2020. In May, the Justice Department (DOJ), after initially defending the prosecution, reversed its position and began looking to drop the charges against him. His legal case had since stalled, after U.S. District Court Judge Emet Sullivan resisted the DOJ’s request and appointed a judge to determine whether Flynn should be held in criminal contempt for perjury.

“This ‘Pardon of Innocence’ is historic, sincerely appreciated & should never happen in our country again,” Flynn, who resigned from his administration position in February 2017, tweeted on Thursday. “I will issue a personal statement later today…Thank you America. Happy Thanksgiving.”

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who played a key role in Trump’s impeachment investigation in the House last year, said Flynn’s pardon was in line with the president’s repeated abuse of the pardon power to “reward friends and protect those who covered up for him.”

“This time he pardons Michael Flynn, who lied to hide his dealings with the Russians. It’s no surprise that Trump would go out as he came in — Crooked to the end,” Schiff tweeted.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., echoed that sentiment, calling Flynn’s pardon “undeserved,” “unprincipled” and “one more stain” on Trump’s “rapidly diminishing legacy.”

“This pardon is part of a pattern. We saw it before, in the Roger Stone case — where President Trump granted clemency to protect an individual who might have implicated the president in criminal misconduct,” he wrote in a statement. “We may see it again before President Trump finally leaves office. These actions are an abuse of power and fundamentally undermine the rule of law.”

Author: Megan Henney

Source: Fox News: Dem leaders condemn Trump’s pardon of Michael Flynn: ‘Abuse of power’

When the Supreme Court resolved the 2000 presidential election in favor of George W. Bush, former Vice President Al Gore conceded defeat — something he doesn’t believe President Trump will do if he loses to Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Gore, a Democrat who served as Bill Clinton’s vice president, accused Trump of “attempting to put his knee on the neck of democracy” by attacking mail-in ballots and absentee voting.

“He seems to have no compunctions at all about trying to rip apart the social fabric and the political equilibrium of the American people, and he’s strategically planting doubts in advance,” Gore said. He called it a “despicable strategy.”

Gore narrowly lost the 2000 election to Bush, but the results remained in limbo for more than a month after Election Day, when the conservative-majority Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Gore’s request for a Florida recount (Bush won the state by just 537 votes).

Gore, who won the nationwide popular vote but lost in the Electoral College, conceded the election to Bush on Dec 13.

“It turns out there’s no intermediate step between a final Supreme Court decision and violent revolution,” Gore said. “It seemed to me that respect for the rule of law and respect for the needs of American democracy were the orders of the day.

He added: “You can always explore the option of dragging something out, tearing the country apart, mobilizing partisans against one another in the streets and all of that, but it was not a wise course for our country.”

If Trump lost the election but refused to accept the results, Gore said he believes the military would intervene. He noted that under the parameters of the Constitution, Trump’s last day in office is Jan. 20, 2021.

“It’s important to say that it’s really not up to him. I hear people saying, ‘Well, would he accept that decision?’ Well, it doesn’t matter because it’s not up to him,” he said. “Because at noon on January 20th, if a new president is elected… the police force, the Secret Service, the military, all of the executive branch officers, will respond to the command and the direction of the new president.”

Millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail this November due to the coronavirus pandemic, increasing the chances the winner of the presidential race won’t immediately be known on election night. State election officials in several key battleground states have warned it could take days to count all of the votes.

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting would allow for widespread fraud, which he reiterated Monday during the Republican National Convention.

However, Ellen Weintraub, commissioner at the Federal Election Commission, and other voting experts, have said that voting by mail is safe and secure.

So far, nine states — a majority of which are run by Democratic governors — have said they intend to mail ballots to all voters. The Wall Street Journal published a guide to mail-in voting nationwide.

Trump has not said whether he will accept the results of the November election.

“The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. It’s the same thing he said last election,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing last week.

An aggregate of polls by RealClearPolitics shows Biden leading Trump, a Republican, by more than 7 percentage points nationally.

Author: Megan Henney

Source: Fox News: Al Gore suggests military will remove Trump from office if he won’t concede on election night

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