resident Trump announced Wednesday that he “granted a full pardon” to his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, concluding a nearly three-year legal battle brought about by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russia hoax.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
On December 1, 2017, Flynn, who was Trump’s first national security adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during an interview regarding phone calls he had with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition.
The FBI had been investigating the retired military general and three other Trump campaign advisers since August 2016 as part of Crossfire Hurricane, the Daily Caller reports.
But, in a court filing on January 29, 2019, Flynn said he did not intentionally lie to the FBI about his calls with Kislyak and that he regretted pleading guilty. His reason for doing so? He made a deal with the government in order to protect his son from potential criminal prosecution in relation to their lobbying for Turkey, which the Justice Department also investigated.
The Justice Department filed a motion in May to drop the charges against Flynn, citing evidence that the FBI had withheld from Flynn’s legal team, according to the Daily Caller. Since then, the Justice Department has released FBI documents showing that the bureau planned to close a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn due to lack of evidence.
The White House also released a statement Wednesday saying that Flynn “should never have been prosecuted” and that the pardon ends “the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man.”
“While today’s action sets right an injustice against an innocent man and an American hero, it should also serve as a reminder to all of us that we must remain vigilant over those in whom we place our trust and confidence,” the statement continued.