“It certainly does seem inappropriate,” Merkley said on CNN. “I mean, to talk about a pardon for somebody who is in the middle of working with the FBI, cooperating with the FBI on an investigation of one’s self really is just wrong.”
But Merkley also said that he believes that the special counsel’s plea agreement with Flynn appears likely to keep the former national security adviser from turning on investigators.
“I think the FBI has the type of arrangement with Flynn where his ability to gain from the agreement that they have made with the FBI depends up his full cooperation,” he said. “So I think the FBI is probably in a good place to keep Flynn from being attempted to, well, bail out, if you will.”
Flynn pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office. He acknowledged in a statement shortly after entering his guilty plea that he is cooperating with investigators looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump said Friday that he was not “yet” ready to talk about a potential pardon for Flynn, and that he would “see what happens.”
Ty Cobb, a White House lawyer, later told The Hill that no such pardon is being considered.
“No — there is no consideration at the White House of pardoning Michael Flynn,” Cobb said.