San Francisco Chronicle

Trump takes aim at Rus­sia probe with par­don of ex­aide Michael Flynn.

- By Eric Tucker Eric Tucker is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Trump par­doned former na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn on Wed­nes­day, tak­ing di­rect aim in the fi­nal days of his ad­min­is­tra­tion at a Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion that he has long in­sisted was mo­ti­vated by po­lit­i­cal bias.

“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 is the sec­ond Trump as­so­ciate con­victed in the Rus­sia probe to be granted cle­mency by the pres­i­dent. Trump com­muted the sen­tence of long­time con­fi­dant Roger Stone just days be­fore he was to re­port to prison. It is part of a broader ef­fort to undo the re­sults of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that for years has shad­owed his ad­min­is­tra­tion and yielded crim­i­nal charges against a half dozen as­so­ci­ates.

The ac­tion voids the crim­i­nal case against Flynn just as a fed­eral judge was weigh­ing, skep­ti­cally, whether to grant a Jus­tice Depart­ment re­quest to dis­miss the pros­e­cu­tion de­spite Flynn’s own guilty plea to ly­ing to the FBI about his Rus­sia con­tacts.

The move, com­ing as Trump winds down his sin­gle term, is likely to en­er­gize sup­port­ers who have taken up the case as a cause cele­bre and ral­lied around the re­tired Army lieu­tenant gen­eral as the vic­tim of what they as­sert is an un­fair pros­e­cu­tion.

Flynn ac­knowl­edged ly­ing dur­ing the FBI in­ter­view by say­ing he had not dis­cussed with the thenrus­sian am­bas­sador, Sergey Kislyak, sanc­tions that had just been im­posed on Rus­sia for elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence by the out­go­ing Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. Dur­ing that con­ver­sa­tion, Flynn as­sured Kislyak “we can have a better con­ver­sa­tion” about re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries af­ter Trump be­came pres­i­dent.

He was among the first of the pres­i­dent’s aides to ad­mit guilt in Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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 ?? Tom Bren­ner / New York Times 2018 ?? Former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Michael Flynn ar­rives at a dis­trict court in Wash­ing­ton to be sen­tenced in 2018. He ad­mit­ted ly­ing to FBI agents.
Tom Bren­ner / New York Times 2018 Former Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser Michael Flynn ar­rives at a dis­trict court in Wash­ing­ton to be sen­tenced in 2018. He ad­mit­ted ly­ing to FBI agents.

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