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In a recent White House tweet, Trump confirmed that Gen. Michael T. Flynn received “a full pardon.”

Donald Trump Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn, left, introduces Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in 2016. (AP Photo / John Locher)

“It is a great honor for me to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has received a full pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving.” Trump wrote on Twitter today.

In those talks, General Flynn urged the diplomat not to step up in response to the Obama administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia for electoral interference.

It was widely speculated that Trump would pardon General Flynn along with George Papadopoulos and Paul Manafort.

The president has long claimed, falsely, that he and his campaign were an illegal target and that campaign associates got into trouble just because of their association with him.

The pardon marks the latest case in which Trump uses his expansive forgiveness power for a high-profile ally.

To date, his record of presidential pardons has been marked by personal connections, showmanship, and an aversion to going through official government channels.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI. (AP / AAP)

Recipients have obtained clemency by submitting their requests to Trump through friends, Fox News personalities or Hollywood celebrities who speak to the president.

That unusual pipeline has worked for the likes of Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff, Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing commentator, and Michael Milken, a financier convicted of securities fraud.

Trump also granted pardons at the behest of Kim Kardashian West, who presented her case in the Oval Office.

And earlier this year, he commuted the sentence of his confidant Roger Stone, whose conviction stemmed from the Mueller investigation.

General Flynn’s tenure in the White House lasted only a few weeks; resigned after being caught in a public lie about his Russian contacts.

He pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about those contacts, but later disavowed his statement and tried to have the case dismissed.

In a shocking twist this spring, the Justice Department dropped the case, which is still trapped in legal limbo.

Donald Trump Michael Flynn
The Justice Department had previously dropped the criminal case against Michael Flynn. (Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images)

Throughout the saga, General Flynn has narrowly avoided being sentenced.

It has also become an emblem of Trump’s persistent efforts to undermine the Russia investigation and a conduit to test the separation of powers between judges and prosecutors.

The Justice Department has argued that General Flynn should never have been questioned by the FBI in January 2017 and put in the position in which he lied.

In September, General Flynn and the Department of Justice returned to court for the first time in months argue your case should be dismissed.

However, Federal District Judge Emmet Sullivan had previously made clear that he might consider sentencing Flynn for his lies.

At the last major hearing where General Flynn appeared before Judge Sullivan, in late 2018, Judge grew so outraged with his crime and legal approach that questioned whether the former national security adviser could have been charged with treason.


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