Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn thanked President Donald Trump for his Thanksgiving pardon, and described the move as “historic.”
President Trump granted the pardon to the retired lieutenant general on Wednesday, Nov. 25, ending the legal saga that began during the 2016 election with the FBI-led investigation of Hurricane Crossfire.
“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!” President Trump wrote in a tweet.
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
After pleading guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into the dialogue with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition period in 2016, Flynn withdrew his guilty plea before sentencing in January 2017, telling the court he was “innocent of this crime.”
The Justice Department decided to drop the case against Flynn in May.
However, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan appointed retired New York Judge John Gleeson, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, to make arguments in opposition to the Justice Department’s decision and to consider charging Flynn with contempt of court for perjury.
According to the Daily Wire, documents handed over by the Justice Department to Flynn’s lawyers showed that FBI agents knew that Flynn was not a Russian agent and that he did not lie during his meeting with the Russian ambassador.
However, he was prosecuted anyway as part of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which included unsubstantiated allegations that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election.
The fired FBI director, James Comey, even admitted that the FBI’s interview with Flynn did not follow standard protocol.
The FBI knew what Flynn discussed with Kislyak, but they took him in for questioning anyway. The agency even had a transcript of Flynn’s phone call, which showed that he was not a Russian agent.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but has since tried to overturn that statement. It should be noted that many people plead guilty when they are innocent to avoid harsher sentences.
After receiving a full pardon from the president, Flynn thanked President Trump on Thursday, Nov. 26, on behalf of himself and his family for the “Pardon of Innocence.”
“This ‘Pardon of Innocence’ is historic, sincerely appreciated & should never happen in our country again,” Flynn wrote on his Twitter account.
“Thank you America. Happy Thanksgiving,” he added, quoting a verse from the Bible.
This “Pardon of Innocence” is historic, sincerely appreciated & should never happen in our country again. I will issue a personal statement later today. My family issued one yesterday.
Thank you America 🇺🇸
Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 😀🇺🇸
1 Chronicles 16:32–34 💪🙏 pic.twitter.com/6TIN2eh3JE
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) November 26, 2020
Flynn’s family had also issued a statement on Wednesday after the president’s pardon.
“For four long years, our family and millions of American patriots stood arm-in-arm together with our brother, General Michael T. Flynn, fighting the vicious, deep-rooted corruption of government institutions and vengeful individuals intent on destroying General Flynn and our country in shameful defiance of justice and the Rule of Law,” the statement said.
“Those individuals have disgraced the United States of America. (…) The perpetuation of this political persecution of General Flynn was further fermented by Judge Emmet Sullivan’s refusal to dismiss the fraudulent prosecution,” the text explained.
The relatives thanked President Trump “for recognizing our brother’s sacrifice in this battle for truth, our Constitution, our Republic, and all that America stands for around the world—a true beacon of liberty.”
“Let it be heard across this great country and around the world that tyranny will not topple us. (…) Threats will not stop us. Evil will not triumph,” the statement concluded.