Outgoing President Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday for lying to FBI agents investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon,” the president tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”
Trump’s move is an extraordinary intervention on behalf of an ally who pleaded guilty in 2017 and has spent the last two years fighting to overturn his original plea.
Before reversing course, Flynn initially cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller for nearly two years, including by providing evidence of potential obstruction of justice by the president.
Trump had long been expected to pardon Flynn, pummeling prosecutors and the FBI for their handling of the case, part of a concerted attack on the investigations against him. Trump has falsely accused the FBI and Justice Department of mounting a “coup” against him in the years after his election.