In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Trump wrote, “It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon.”
It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2020
He added, “Congratulations to [Michael Flynn] and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
Flynn briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser in 2017. However, he was fired and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI twice — which he sought to retract earlier this year.
In May, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought to drop its prosecution of Flynn “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”
The department said at the time, “We do not believe that the Government can prove either the relevant false statements or their materiality beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue,” it added.
“The Government has determined, pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.”
However, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who was overseeing the case, has fought to prevent the DOJ from ending its prosecution.
Sullivan appointed retired judge John Gleeson to argue that the prosecution should not be dropped. Gleeson said the move was a “corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system.”
In September, the decision on whether or not to force Sullivan to drop the case landed before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which rejected Flynn’s legal team’s request to immediately dismiss the prosecution against their client.
Trump was previously asked if he would pardon Flynn, he said, “It looks to me like Michael Flynn would be exonerated based on everything I see.”
“But I don’t know that anyone would have to use that power. I think he’s exonerated. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he added.
However, Axios reported on Tuesday night that Trump was planning on pardoning Flynn.