President Donald Trump has reportedly told confidants that he plans to pardon Michael Flynn, his former National Security Advisor, as part of a series of pardons to take place before he leaves the White House, Axios reported.
SCOOP: Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn, per two sources with direct knowledge. https://t.co/GyHvWcn6NO
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) November 25, 2020
Flynn was fired as National Security Advisor in January 2017 after The Washington Post published reports of his December 2016 calls with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The outgoing Obama administration had issued sanctions at Russia, and Flynn had urged Kislyak not to escalate matters. (RELATED: Joe Biden’s Transition Officials Received Intelligence On Michael Flynn Before Donald Trump Took Office)
Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to FBI officials about the calls with Kislyak.
The Justice Department dropped its charges against Flynn in May after declassified documents showed the FBI and Obama administration officials may have been working to entrap him to gain access to the Trump campaign. Trump has long accused prosecutors of mistreating Flynn, while Trump’s critics have accused him of improperly meddling in the Justice Department’s investigation of his former national security adviser.
Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell had said in September that she had urged Trump not to issue a pardon, according to Axios.
The pardon would take the Flynn case’s fate out of the hands of the Justice Department under the incoming Joe Biden administration.