President Trump has pardoned General Michael Flynn following a years-long criminal case that felled the former National Security Advisor and three-star general. Trump informed Flynn of the decision on Wednesday afternoon, just ahead of Thanksgiving Day.
In 2016, Flynn pleaded guilty to perjuring himself to the FBI regarding conversations he had with a Russian diplomat during the 2016 Trump administration transition period.
Posting on Twitter, Trump announced: “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!”
Earlier this year, Attorney General William Barr requested that a federal court in Washington, D.C. drop the case. It then became tied up in procedural roadblocks.
Flynn’s trouble with the law began during the 2016 presidential transition when he allegedly told Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to refrain from escalating tensions with the Obama administration following the former president’s imposition of sanctions on Russia for election interference.
According to the allegations, Flynn was dishonest with Vice President Mike Pence regarding the conversation, who repeated his denial to the media, prompting Justice Department officials who were concerned that the apparent lies would make Flynn susceptible to Russian “kompromat.”
In January 2017, the FBI interviewed Flynn without a lawyer present as part of a counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference. Flynn later admitted lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller. The findings of the investigation were ultimately dismissed by the U.S. Senate following an impeachment hearing of President Trump by the Democrat-majority House of Representatives.
President Donald Trump stated in March earlier this year that he was considering pardoning Flynn, stating that the FBI and Justice Department had “destroyed” the retired general’s life.
In March, Trump tweeted “So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!”
Tweeting in April, Trump also stated: “So General Michael Flynn’s life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written). Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!”