Legally speaking, while in office, Donald Trump has been known for getting his friends off and, after a long-running legal battle regarding the Russian investigation, he has decided to pardon his first national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon.,” Trump wrote on Twitter announcing the news Wednesday afternoon. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
According to NPR, “The pardon was expected to draw condemnations from critics who’ve said Trump’s actions to help his friends interfere with the justice system.”
In December 2017, Flynn worked closely with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communication with the Russian ambassador. However, sometime this year, Flynn later accused the government of trying to frame him and reversed his guilty plea to not guilty.
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
This behavior was suspicious as Flynn had already substantially assisted the prosecution and “prompted sharp criticism from the presiding judge, Emmet Sullivan, who said it raised questions about whether Flynn truly accepted responsibility for his actions.”
Though prosecutors argued his prior admission of guilt was enough, Trump labeled Flynn a victim of “FBI gone rogue,” and his “allegations of government misconduct found a sympathetic audience in President Trump.”
Eventually, Trump pardoned Flynn.
As part of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Flynn was the only member of the Trump Administration to be charged as part of the special counsel.
His pardon brings hope of lenience to other former Trump advisors who were indicted involving the Russia investigation.