Former national security adviser General Michael Flynn has doubled down on his calls for President Donald Trump to use the military to force an election ‘rerun’ in battleground states – saying such action is ‘not unprecedented’.
Flynn, whose conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation was recently wiped away when he was pardoned by Trump, made his latest case for invoking martial law to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from taking office during an interview with Newsmax on Thursday.
‘There is no way in the world we are going to be able to move forward as a nation. [Trump] could immediately, on his order, seize every single one of these [voting] machines,’ Flynn said in apparent reference to the conspiracy theory that voting software flipped Trump votes for Biden.
‘Within the swing states, if he wanted to, he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically rerun an election in each of those states.’
‘I mean, it’s not unprecedented. These people are out there talking about martial law like it’s something that we’ve never done. Martial law has been instituted 64 times.’
He added: ‘We have a constitutional process. We clearly have a constitutional process. That has to be followed.’
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General Michael Flynn doubled down on his calls for President Trump to use the military to force an election ‘rerun’ in battleground states in an interview with Newsmax on Thursday
Flynn said it would not be ‘unprecedented’ for Trump to invoke martial law to stop Joe Biden from taking office
Contrary to Flynn’s suggestion, there is no record of martial law having ever been declared by a US president to hold a new election.
Trump’s campaign has already gone to great lengths to contest the results of the election, which was called for Biden on November 7. The Electoral College confirmed the results on Monday.
Flynn has been one of the most prominent voices in supporting Trump’s claims of election fraud in recent weeks, as the campaign continues racking up losses in numerous legal battles.
Flynn’s conviction for lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation was wiped away when he was pardoned by Trump
He first promoted the idea of invoking martial law in a tweet on December 1, which was immediately condemned by defense officials and military experts.
Bill Banks, a professor at Syracuse University who specializes in constitutional and national security law, called the idea ‘preposterous’.
‘Apart from the fact that state and now federal investigators have found no evidence of election fraud that would change the election outcome, martial law has no place in the United States absent a complete breakdown of civil governing mechanisms,’ Banks told Military Times.
Earlier this week Flynn ridiculed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for congratulating Biden on his win following the Electoral College vote by retweeting a post that called for ‘American patriots’ to let ‘McConnell know we aren’t on board with his “President Elect Biden” mindset.’
Flynn told Trump: ‘Millions & millions & millions of Patriots stand behind, alongside & in front of you during this crucible moment in US History where our very Republic is on the line. We won’t fail or cower like some in the Republican Party have shown.’
Flynn sent words of encouragement to Trump via Twitter on Tuesday night after the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory
Flynn’s latest show of support for Trump came a week after a federal judge dismissed the criminal case against him – two weeks after a pardon from the president effectively ended the case.
US District Judge Emmet Sullivan made clear in his December 8 order that he was compelled to dismiss the case because of the pardon.
But he also stressed that a pardon, by itself, did not mean that Flynn was innocent. Flynn had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts during the presidential transition period with the Russian ambassador.
‘The history of the Constitution, its structure, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the pardon power make clear that President Trump’s decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one,’ Sullivan wrote.
‘Because the law recognizes the President’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.’
In his tweet announcing the pardon the day before Thanksgiving, Trump wrote: ‘It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon.
‘Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving! Have a great life General Flynn!’
Flynn’s family responded in a statement shared on his Twitter account, which read: ‘We are forever appreciative to President Trump for giving back to Michael his freedom in undoing a hideous wrong.’
Flynn was represented by lawyer Sidney Powell, who has also put forward a conspiracy theory in a flurry of election lawsuits claiming Venezuela, Cuba, and China rigged voting machines that flipped votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.
Trump has long championed Flynn and used his prosecution to make the case that the FBI ‘spied’ on his campaign – although back in 2017 he fired Flynn after just weeks on the job after it was revealed he did not disclose his contacts with Russia’s former ambassador to the US to Vice President Mike Pence.
Flynn is pictured at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington, DC, on December 12