Donald Trump has pardoned his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn who pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI, twice about his conversations with a Russian diplomat, before trying to get his case thrown out.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter, as the country makes Thanksgiving preparations.
“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!”
Flynn was Donald Trump’s first National Security Advisor but he resigned in less that a month on the job after it was discovered that he lied to Mike Pence about conversations he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. He went on to cooperate extensively with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, providing “substantial assistance” to the special counsel’s investigation, according to court papers.
Despite Flynn’s guilty pleas, the Bill Barr led Justice Department tied to dismiss the criminal charges earlier this year. The request was put on hold while the federal judge presiding over Flynn’s case reviewed the request.
The inevitability of this pardon makes it no less brazen. There is nothing illegal about a president pardoning an individual and there have been dubious presidential pardons before. But Donald Trump has abused his pardon powers to reward his political allies for remaining loyal and refusing to give investigators information that may be damaging to him.
There are reports that he’s also considering a pardon for George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort. And those are just the beginning.