House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday compared President Donald Trump to a mob boss, following reports that he was considering a pardon for former national security advisor Mike Flynn.
‘Imagine what people around the world think when we have a president who’s acting like an organized crime figure,’ Schiff said.
‘But this is who Donald Trump is. It’s who he was on the way into the presidency. It will be exactly who he is on his last days of the presidency,’ he told CNN.
He said Trump’s conduct ‘reflects so ill on our democracy, on the United States.’
He made the comments as Trump sent a signal that he might act, retweeting author Svetlana Lohhova, who had put up a tweet Tuesday night complaining about the pace of the Flynn case.
President Trump is considering a pardon for former National Security Advisor Mike FlynnT
‘Judge Sullivan was supposed to proceed ‘with dispatch’ (in a quick and efficient way) in Gen Flynn’s case. Three months have passed since…’ she wrote.
Lokhova, a Russia-born academic, was among a group of people who met with Flynn at the University of Cambridge in the UK in an encounter that had people on the internet accusing her of being part of a honeytrap organized by Russia. She has vociferously denied being a spy. ‘Absolutely not,’ she told the BBC. ‘I have no formal or informal connection with Russian intelligence whatsoever.’ The meeting gained scrutiny after Trump fired Flynn after just days on the job in 2017. The dinner involved a former top British intelligence official and Flynn, who was then the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Schiff spoke a day after the network reported a pardon for Flynn and others was under consideration, potentially soon.
On Monday, the Trump Administration finally issued an ascertainment allowing the transition to begin, moving Trump toward lame duck status, although he continues to say the election was ‘rigged’ and is pursuing legal efforts.
Trump has issued clemency for longtime advisor Roger Stone, and on Wednesday retweeted a post about the pace of Flynn’s case
Schiff compared Trump to a mob boss. This undated file photo shows Mafia Boss John Gotti, aka “The Dapper Don,” right, with Sammy “The Bull” Gravano
Joseph Servidio, aka “Joey Electric,” age 60; / Federal prosecutors said Monday that the 15 defendants are members or associates of the La Cosa Nostra crime family, which is known as the mafiaGroup is accused of using its reputation and influence to control criminal rackets, like bookmaking and loansharking in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Schiff spoke days after the throw-back indictment of alleged mob figures
Schiff accused Trump of seeking to reward people who ‘lie on his behalf.’ The movie “The Godfather: Part II”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, delved into the code of ‘omerta,’ where mafia members would protect the boss at great personal cost
Trump also took part in the traditional pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey on Tuesday.
Flynn originally pleaded guilty to lying to FBI about his Russia contacts, then reversed course and sought to have the charges thrown out, which Bill Barr’s Justice Department ultimately moved to do.
He is now represented by Sidney Powell, the former Trump campaign lawyer who the campaign now says is not part of the team, who vowed to unleash ‘the Kraken’ and put forth bizarre conspiracy theories about about vote-rigging in the U.S. election connected to Venezuela, China and Cuba.
Trump has long said he believed Flynn was mistreated, and claims the FBI ‘spied’ on his 2016 campaign.
Schiff’s mob reference came a day after a throw-back bust of Philadelphia mob figures, with a grand jury indictment that mentioned Anthony ‘Tony Meatballs’ Gifoli, 72 and alleged underboss underboss Steven ‘Stevie’ Mazzone. The Feds alleged they took part in a heroin-dealing and loan-sharking operation.
Schiff referenced said Trump was demonstrating that ‘If you lie on his behalf, if you over up for him, he will reward you, he will protect you,’ and likened it to the mob’s code of protecting those who keep silent and punishing those who tell secrets to authorities.
A president’s pardon authority is extensive, and there has even been talk Trump could try to pardon himself.
‘With respect to Mike Flynn he may have the power to provide a pardon,’ Schiff said. Trump gave clemency to longtime political advisor Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress.
‘I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen,’ President-elect Joe Biden told NBC News
President-elect Joe Biden told NBC’s Lester Holt he would not push his own Justice Department to go after Trump, with some Democrats calling for probes.
‘Some Democrats want investigations go to forward against President Trump after he leaves office. Do you support that?’ Holt asked Biden.
Biden responded: ‘I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen.’
‘There are a number of investigations that I’ve read about that are at a state level. There’s nothing at all I can or cannot do about that,’ he added.