Trump reportedly plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI, but the ex-national security advisor's kept the president's support.

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President Donald Trump has less than two months before the end of his presidency. During that transitional time, most outgoing commanders-in-chief issue pardons for people either accused or found guilty of crimes. 

During his period as a lame duck before Joe Biden takes over, Trump is reportedly planning to pardon former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

Former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse following a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Dec. 2018. President Trump is reportedly planning to pardon Flynn. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians, who were allegedly seeking to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election to help ensure victory for Trump. 

Despite his guilty plea, Flynn has maintained the support of the president and his supporters, who maintain that he was a victim in the Russia investigation. 

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In April, Trump tweeted, “What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!” 

In May, the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General William Barr, sought to withdraw charges against the disgraced general. “Yesterday was a BIG day for Justice in the USA. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others,” Trump tweeted at the time. “I do believe there is MUCH more to come! Dirty Cops and Crooked Politicians do not go well together!”

He has long maintained that the Russia investigation was a “witch hunt.” 

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Pardoning Flynn would be in line with his stated beliefs, as was his July commutation of the sentence of Trump confidant Roger Stone, who was charged for obstructing the investigation, found guilty, then sentenced to 40 months in prison. 

Legal experts believe the Flynn pardon will be the first in a list of many before Trump leaves the White House. He has even inquired about proactively pardoning himself and his children for any crimes with which they could later be charged. 

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Other Trump supporters ensnared in the Russia investigation may also be pardoned, including Trump advisor George Papadopoulos and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. 

Papadopoulos only served 12 days in federal prison for lying to the FBI, but a pardon would clear his record of a felony. 

Manafort was sentenced to a seven-year sentence for fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was released to home confinement earlier this year amid concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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