Trump Pardons Former Security Adviser Michael Flynn Despite Guilty Plea for Lying to FBI
President Donald Trump pardoned the former national security adviser retired Lt. Michael Flynn on Wednesday, despite the latter's guilty plea in a Russian probe.
Flynn has been under a three-year prosecution for allegedly lying to the FBI, said a report from Daily Wire. The probe was about allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
According to Associated Press, Flynn lied to the FBI about his Russian contacts.
A report from Reuters said Trump pardoning Flynn was the first time the president has done so in the days after the election, directly taking aim at the Russia investigation that he had long insisted was fueled by political bias.
Trump announced the pardon on Twitter, while wishing Flynn a "fantastic" Thanksgiving holiday.
Trump's move marks the highest-profile parts he has granted since taking office. He also pardoned Army personnel who were accused of war crimes and Joe Arpaio who was an Arizona sheriff and hardliner against illegal immigration.
He was also the second trump associate linked to the Russian probe who was granted clemency by trump.
The other was Adviser Roger Stone's sentence, which was cut down by Trump just days before he had to report to prison.
"This pardon is undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump's rapidly diminishing legacy," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Democrat Jerry Nadler in a statement.
Flynn's Guilty Plea
In December 2017, Flynn gave a guilty plea about lying to the FBI during an interview with two agents early that year.
He lied about having interactions with Russia's ambassador to the United States weeks before Trump was inaugurated in January 2017.
One of the agents who interviewed him was former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.
He then reversed course in January 2020, replacing his legal team with attorney Sydney Powell. Flynn wanted to withdraw the guilty plea, arguing that prosecutors tricked him into a plea agreement.
In May, the Justice Department wanted to have charges against Flynn dropped. But the filing was dropped, keeping the case open.
His sentencing kept on getting postponed.
"It's on the question of materiality that we feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on," Barr said in May as he explained why he decided to drop the case.
Barr said there was no basis to conduct a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn "based on a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition."
At a court hearing, Powell said the she had asked Trump not to issue pardon as she was looking to have the case dismissed, just as the Justice Department requested.
"The pardon of Michael Flynn is solely up to the President, but given the corruption we have witnessed in the judiciary and multiple agencies of government executed against General Flynn, this persecution should end," Powell said in a statement to CNBC.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!