President Trump announced on Monday that he was planning to issue a pardon to someone “very, very important” on Tuesday.
On his way back to Washington from Wisconsin, President Trump revealed to reporters aboard Air Force One with him that a huge pardon was coming – but would not go into further detail about who it may be.
“Doing a pardon tomorrow on someone who is very, very important,” Trump said.
Trump did, however, say that it would not be former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn or Edward Snowden despite recent media assumptions that a pardon for Snowden – the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information on vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA – was coming.
The Snowden theory comes after Trump was asked by a reporter last week, “Do you want to give Edward Snowden a pardon and bring him back?”
“Well I’m going to look at it,” Trump responded. “I mean, I’m not that aware of the Snowden situation, but I’m going to start looking at it. There are many, many people. It seems to be a split decision. There are many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things. And I’m going to take a very good look at it. I mean, I’ve seen people that are very conservative and very liberal and they agree on the same issue. They agree both ways. I’m going to take a look at that very strongly, Edward Snowden.”
As far as General Flynn is concerned, the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals recently told parties to be ready to answer questions about the effect of federal statutes on judicial impartiality in a brief order in connection to the legal dispute over the Justice Department’s move to drop charges against Flynn.
The order, which indicated that one court may be planning to question the impartiality of a judge on another court, is the latest twist in the years-long legal saga.
After Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — then later sought to withdraw that plea — the DOJ in an unusual move sought to drop the charges, citing alleged misconduct by investigators and a lack of evidence.
Then, in his own unusual move, District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is the trial-level judge on the Flynn case, refused to immediately grant the motion to drop charges. He appointed an “amicus curie” — Latin for “friend of the court” — to argue against the DOJ motion.
While pardons generally come at the end of a president’s term – Trump has proven he has nothing to hide and has used them throughout his presidency even as we approach a crucial election where he is seeking a second term.
The president’s mysterious announcement of an impending pardon has left many filled with suspense as we all await to see exactly who this “very, very important person” will be.