President Trump has told allies he plans to apologize to his former national security advisor, Lt. General Michael Flynn, before leaving office, a source close to the deliberations said.
In late 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about talking to then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He later attempted to withdraw that plea before sentencing, claiming that he had not deliberately lied.
The indictments alleged that Flynn falsely denied that Flynn privately asked Kislyak during the Trump transition in December 2016, when the Obama administration announced new sanctions and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election not to retaliate to escalate the situation.
Trump was able to decide not to go through the potential pardon, which Axios first reported on Tuesday, despite starting to publicize the idea back in March.
In late April, the 45th Commander-in-Chief argued that Flynn was “essentially exonerated” for lying to the FBI after documents were openly questioned as part of a re-examination of his case that revealed the Office’s then-counter-espionage director, whether the agency’s “goal” was to “get” [Flynn] Lying.”
“He’s being exonerated right now if you look at those notes from yesterday. That was complete exoneration,” Trump said of the documents at the time. And they were dishonest people. “
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment on the possibility of a Flynn pardon.
Also on the potential pardon list for the outgoing president are former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, whose prison sentence Trump has already commuted.
He has also publicly considered pardoning numbers ranging from NSA anti-surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden to “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.
With postal wires