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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Thursday that following the release of new FBI documents, he is "more inclined to believe" that former national security adviser Michael Flynn unintentionally lied to him in 2017 about the nature of his conversation with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Why it matters: Flynn was forced to resign for misleading Pence and later pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about speaking to Kislyak about Russian sanctions, which the Obama administration had imposed for election interference.

The big picture: Flynn is now seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming that prosecutors acted in "bad faith" and sought to entrap him.

  • As part of that process, prosecutors have turned over documents from the FBI, including a new batch on Wednesday that show officials discussing whether their "goal" was "to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired."
  • President Trump has said he "strongly considering" a full pardon for Flynn, and spent much of Wednesday night and Thursday morning raging on Twitter about the treatment that Flynn has received.
  • On Thursday, Trump said that he would consider bringing Flynn back into the administration, claiming his former national security adviser is "essentially exonerated."

What they're saying: Pence told reporters that he will leave the decision on whether to pardon Flynn up to the president.

“I think Gen. Michael Flynn is a patriotic American who served with great distinction in the armed forces. ... I’m deeply troubled by the revelations of what appears to have been investigative abuse by officials in the Justice Department and we are going to continue to look into that very carefully.”"

Flashback: In December 2017, Pence told CBS News, "What I can tell you is that I knew that [Flynn] lied to me. And I know the president made the right decision with regard to him."

Go deeper

Pence calls Chief Justice John Roberts a "disappointment"

Combination images of Vice President Mike Pence and Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images/I Senate Television via Getty Images

Vice President Pence told the Christian Broadcast Network in an interview to be broadcast Thursday that Chief Justice John Roberts "has been a disappointment to conservatives."

The state of play: The conservative Roberts has this year sided with the Supreme Court's more liberal justices on abortion, LGBTQ discrimination and the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

National Guard chief says it took 3 hours for Pentagon to grant Jan. 6 request

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, will testify Wednesday that it took three hours and 19 minutes for Pentagon leadership to approve a request for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to his prepared remarks.

Why it matters: The timeline over when National Guard requests were made and granted has been a key point of contention in congressional hearings examining the security failures surrounding the Capitol riots.

35 mins ago - World

International Criminal Court opens Israel-Palestine war crimes probe

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu has strongly objected to the investigation. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014.

Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.

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