Trump pardons ex-national security aide Flynn
WASHINGTON— President Donald 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 politically motivated.
“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. Trump commuted the sentence of longtime confidant Roger Stone just days before he was to report to prison.
Trump has sought 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 judge was weighing 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 term, is likely to energize supporters who have taken up the case and rallied around the retired Army lieutenant general as the victim of what they assert is an unfair prosecution.
Trump himself has repeatedly spoken warmly about Flynn, even though special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors once praised him as amodel cooperator in their probe into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
The pardon spares Flynn the possibility of any prison sentence, which U.S. District Justice Emmet Sullivan could potentially have imposed had he rejected the Justice Department’s dismissal request.