Vice President Mike Pence said he would be “happy to see Michael Flynn again” when asked during an interview Friday with Axios if he would be fine with the retired U.S. Army lieutenant general returning to work in the government.
To the shock of legal experts nationwide, the Justice Department on Thursday dropped charges against Flynn, a former White House national security adviser who previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.
Prior to the Justice Department dropping the charges, President Donald Trump had hinted at potentially pardoning Flynn. The president said late last month that he would “certainly consider” bringing Flynn back into his administration.
Asked Friday if he would be okay with such a move, Pence appeared to say yes.
“I think Gen. Michael Flynn is an American patriot,” the vice president said. “He served this country with great distinction in uniform. And now I believe a decision by the Justice Department lays bare what was clearly prosecutorial abuse. And for my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again.”
A representative for Pence did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Flynn initially said he had not discussed possible changes to U.S. foreign policy toward Russia with Kislyak prior to Trump’s inauguration. Flynn later admitted that he had.
A day after Flynn’s guilty plea, Trump tweeted that he “had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.”
Flynn has tried to withdraw his guilty plea in recent months, claiming that he had been illegally entrapped by the FBI agents who had questioned him. A federal judge rejected that argument in December. The Justice Department inspector general wrote in a report that same month that the FBI has sufficient evidence to investigate Flynn as part of its probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
But in a court filing last week, Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea said that even if Flynn lied about his conversations with Kislyak, Flynn’s lies were irrelevant to the FBI’s probe into his Russia contacts.
Pence told reporters last month that he was “more inclined” to believe Flynn unintentionally misled him in 2017 about communications with Kislyak.
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