President Donald Trump is being urged to pardon his former national security adviser, the disgraced Michael Flynn, by Flynn's own brother.
"About time you pardoned General Flynn who has taken the biggest fall for all of you given the illegitimacy of this confessed crime in the wake of all this corruption," Joseph Flynn tweeted in response to a tweet earlier that day by Trump.
Although Flynn deleted that tweet after roughly 15 minutes, he eventually submitted another one, which at the time of this writing remains on the social media platform. Flynn wrote, "Mr. President, I personally believe that a pardon is due to General Flynn, given the apparent and obvious illegitimacy of the manner in which the so called ‘crimes’ he plead (sic) guilty to were extracted from him. I ask for quick action on this. Thank you and keep up the good work!"
The Trump tweet to which Flynn was responding involved Trump discussing a "Fox & Friends" report that the FBI was "tainted" by a dossier of anti-Trump rumors.
Joseph Flynn told Newsweek that the Flynn family has organized a legal fund to help pay for his brother's defense.
"I want to be clear: The expense far outweighs the donations, most of which are small amounts that average citizens who support General Flynn can put forth. . . . The burden of expense of multiple investigations, which of course were not expected and no one prepares for, is financially crippling to him and his family," Flynn told Newsweek.
When asked by reporters whether he would pardon Flynn shortly after the former White House official pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, Trump said, "I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens. Let’s see."
The president has recently ratcheted up his campaign to discredit the FBI, which continues to be involved in an investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government officials.