President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty – twice – to lying to the FBI over contacts he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition from President Barack Obama’s administration into Trump’s.
Bear in mind that accepting a presidential pardon requires an admission of guilt. Presidential pardons also do not protect the recipient against being charged with crimes at the state level.
“I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right,” Flynn said at the time. “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
As Trump so often does, he made the announcement on Twitter.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” Trump wrote. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
Flynn was expected to serve six months in prison, but his sentencing was indefinitely delayed in February by Judge Emmet Sullivan – the same judge who accused Flynn of treason in open court.
Trump has maintained that Flynn, along with the cadre of other insiders that have been charged and convicted of crimes – Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Rick Gates among them – were unfairly targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as the roles Trump’s associates played in the scheme.
Trump commuted Stone’s 40-month prison sentence in July.
This is a developing story.
Fifty-six days until the inauguration.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.