Washington [US], November 26 (ANI): US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (local time) said that he has granted his first national security advisor Michael Flynn a 'full pardon', who pleaded guilty to lying during the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
"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!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
The pardon, coming as Trump enters his last days as president, is a part of a broader effort by the president to undo the results of a Russia investigation.
Since January 2017, the Flynn case has been among the defining scandals and sagas of Trump's presidency and Attorney General William Barr's leadership of the Justice Department, CNN reported
A Justice Department official on Wednesday said that they were not consulted about the pardon and instead were notified in advance of the president exercising his pardon power for Flynn. The Department would have preferred to have seen the case resolved with a dismissal in court, the official added.
The pardon ends a 3-year legal saga where Flynn's charge is pending in an appeals court in a fight over the separation of powers. The Justice Department was trying to drop the case.
The trial-court judge overseeing the case had not taken action since the appeals fight and was considering whether to dismiss the case or to sentence Flynn, according to a CNN report.
The White House, in a statement following the Trump's announcement, insisted on Flynn's innocence, with press secretary Kayleigh McEnany saying in part: "The President has pardoned General Flynn because he should never have been prosecuted."
The pardon brings "to an end the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man," McEnany wrote. The White House did not provide any evidence of Flynn's innocence in the statement.
Trump had said in March that he was "strongly considering" pardoning Flynn and had told aides in recent days that he planned to pardon him before leaving office. (ANI)