WTF Just Happened Today

Your essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.


Day 1406: "A truly fantastic Thanksgiving!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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1/ Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his first national security advisor, who pleaded guilty – twice – to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts during the presidential transition in late 2016 and early 2017. Trump announced the news on Twitter and wished Flynn “a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” The pardon was issued before a judge ruled on a Justice Department motion to dismiss charges and undo Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI. Since last year, Flynn’s lawyers have sought to withdraw his guilty plea. In May, Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department sought to dismiss its charges, declaring that prosecutors should not have brought the case against Flynn. The request to withdraw charges has been pending before a federal judge, who has been reviewing the case. Flynn’s pardon is expected to be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office, including former Trump campaign advisers Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos. (CNBC / NBC News / Washington Post / NPR / Axios / New York Times / Politico / The Guardian / CNN)

2/ Biden dismissed pursuing investigations into Trump after he leaves office, saying “I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happened.” Biden’s comments, however, didn’t rule out that the Justice Department could still investigate Trump, since it traditionally operates independently of the White House on criminal matters. Biden also acknowledged that states could continue pursue their own investigations. (USA Today)

  • Trump-Biden Transition Live Blogs: New York Times / ABC News / CNN

3/ Unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row with 778,000 people filing for benefits. Claims haven’t risen for two consecutive weeks since July and it was the largest two-week increase since April. Another 311,000 people applied for jobless benefits under an emergency federal program for gig workers and the self-employed. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times /


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