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Trump pardons former national security adviser Michael Flynn

Click to play video 'President Trump pardons former national security adviser Michael Flynn' President Trump pardons former national security adviser Michael Flynn
WATCH ABOVE: U.S. President Donald Trump has granted a reprieve to his first national security adviser, Michal Flynn. The move is the highest profile pardon the president has issued since he took office – Nov 25, 2020

Donald Trump has pardoned his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, the outgoing president said it is his “Great Honor” to pardon Flynn.

“Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family,” Trump wrote. “I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving.”

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Flynn, a retired Army general, pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump took office.

However, he has since sought to withdraw the plea, arguing that prosecutors violated his rights and duped him into a plea agreement.

In a statement, Flynn’s family said they are “grateful to President Donald J. Trump for answering our prayers and the prayers of a nation by removing the heavy burden of injustice off the shoulders of our brother Michael, with a full pardon of innocence.”

Read more: Trump, aides have discussed plans to pardon Michael Flynn: reports

Trump previously said in March that he was planning on pardoning Flynn, writing in a tweet that the FBI and Justice Department had destroyed his life.

“I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!” he wrote.

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According to the New York Times report on Monday, Flynn is just one of a string of pardons Trump is considering before leaving the White House.

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Earlier this year, Trump commuted the sentence of another ally, conservative consultant and lobbyist Roger Stone.

Stone had been sentenced to prison after being convicted of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress before Trump intervened.

Democrats react

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s move to pardon Flynn is “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power.”

“The President’s enablers have constructed an elaborate narrative in which Trump and Flynn are victims and the Constitution is subject to the whims of the president,” House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said in a statement. “Americans soundly rejected this nonsense when they voted out President Trump. ”

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said the pardon wasn’t a surprise but was nonetheless crooked.

“Flynn pled guilty to those lies, twice. A pardon by Trump does not erase that truth, no matter how Trump and his allies try to suggest otherwise,” he said.

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In a tweet Wednesday, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said Flynn “pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI twice – and should be held accountable for it.”

“The President’s decision to pardon him today is corrupt,” he wrote. “No one should be above the law – regardless of their connections.”

A request for comment sent to the Biden transition team was not immediately answered.

–With files from Reuters and The Associated Press