Published: 2020-11-25 13:27
Last Updated: 2020-11-25 17:35
The outgoing US President Donald Trump intends to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who agreed in 2017 to admit to charges of lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with a Russian diplomat, US media reported Tuesday.
Axios website and the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources, that Trump intends to include Flynn on the list of people who will be pardoned in the last days of his presidency.
The secret talks that Michael Flynn held with the Russian ambassador to Washington in December 2016, prior to Donald Trump's inauguration as president, were a cornerstone of the subsequent investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller into suspicions of collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia.
After more than two years of investigation, Robert Mueller's team has found no evidence of such collusion.
Flynn was forced to resign after only 22 days as Trump's National Security Adviser.
But the president has always considered the investigation politically targeted and that Michael Flynn, a former army general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is a "good man."
After participating in Donald Trump's campaign, Michael Flynn held secret talks with Russian Ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak in December 2016.
After he became a national security adviser, he was interrogated by the Federal Police Jan. 24, 2017, but he had hidden these contacts. He was soon forced to resign for also lying to Vice President Mike Pence.
In 2017, Michael Flynn agreed to plead guilty to a perjury charge and to cooperate with the investigation of suspected collusion with Russia.
Last year, with the threat of six months in prison, he changed his lawyer and defense strategy.
Exceptionally, the US Department of Justice withdrew its complaint against Michael Flynn in May, saying that the investigation against the former general had no "legitimate basis" and that his statements "even if they were false, had no significance."
Thus the department offered a political victory to Trump, who repeatedly said that Michael Flynn was "innocent."
A federal judge requested judicial review of the case, however.
A pardon by Trump would pull the case out of court jurisdiction.