Trump Pardons Michael Flynn, Former National Security Adviser Who Lied To FBI
President Donald Trump has pardoned Michael Flynn, his former National Security Adviser. Flynn pleaded guilty on two occasions for lying to the FBI about his connections with Russia between 2016 and 2017.
Flynn was Trump’s national security adviser for 24 days before Trump fired him for his contact with Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in February 2017. Based on telephone transcripts that were released this May, Flynn and Kislyack had several conversations, and discussed Russian and American relations and how to respond to the election interference by Russia in the 2016 presidential election, among other topics. Flynn originally told the FBI that he had no recollection of any conversation with Kislyack.
Last year, after initially pleading guilty, Flynn changed out his legal team and began to attempt to withdraw his guilty plea. His lawyers say that the FBI interview was an “ambush interview,” and that he was a victim that FBI investigators pushed to plea guilty.
After initial distancing himself from Flynn, Trump has recently turned him into a GOP hero, celebrating him and referring to him as “an innocent man” who was targeted by the Obama administration.
“What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!” wrote Trump on Twitter in April. Once the DOJ withdrew its charges against Flynn in May, Trump tweeted that it was a “BIG day for Justice in the USA.”
A notable connection between the president and Flynn is lawyer Sidney Powell. Powell is a member of Flynn’s legal team, and up until this weekend, was a member of Trump’s legal team as well. However, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, released a statement on Sunday that Powell “is not a member of the Trump legal team” anymore. Powell has been receiving extensive backlash to her conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election and voter fraud.
While reporters asked Trump questions on his plans to use his pardoning powers during the White House turkey pardon in the Rose Garden, Trump ignored them.