Washington, 26 November 2020 (dpa/MIA) – US President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who had pleaded guilty about lying to federal investigators about contact with a Russian official.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday, in a move that comes in the president’s final stretch in office.
Flynn, who was forced out of his job in the Trump administration early on in the president’s tenure, had admitted that he had lied about holding talks with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, about the policy of the incoming administration.
The former adviser had also lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts, which was a cause for concern within the young administration just as it was finding its feet.
However, Flynn reversed his position and is fighting his case in court, arguing that his plea should be discarded and claiming he was the victim of alleged misconduct.
“The President has pardoned General Flynn because he should never have been prosecuted,” a statement from the press secretary said.
“The Department of Justice has firmly concluded that the charges against General Flynn should be dropped. This Full Pardon achieves that objective, finally bringing to an end the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man,” the statement read.
The Department of Justice’s request to drop the charges against Flynn was seen as unusual, in part as he had initially pleaded guilty.
Among many of Trump‘s most loyal supporters, the case against Flynn is attributed to overreach by the former president, Barack Obama, as part a wider conservative argument against the previous administration.
A number of people in Trump‘s inner circle have been accused or convicted of a range of crimes. Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, an associate who was tied up in the probe into Russian election interference.