Donald Trump has pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn—as anticipated.
The president announced the move via Twitter on Wednesday, nearly three years after Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador.
"It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon," Trump wrote. "Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!"
Flynn was part of a long list of Trump associates who were charged and/or convicted in Robert Mueller's extensive Russia probe, which focused on the country's efforts to interfere in the United States' 2016 presidential election.
Shortly before Trump took office, Flynn made a phone call to former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, urging him to take "reciprocal" actions in response to the Obama administration's sanctions over election interference. Trump ultimately fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Pence about his conversations with Kislyak. And although he pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents, Flynn's defense argued the feds tried to entrap him.
Back in January, Flynn moved to withdraw his initial guilty plea, citing "the government's bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement." A few months later, the Department of Justice confirmed it was seeking to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn; however, the case was stalled as U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan decided whether he would grant the request.
Though the pardon wasn't shocking, many Democrats expressed outrage over the move. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused Trump of abusing the presidential pardon powers to cover up for his friends. (POTUS previously granted clemency to his friend and adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering in 2019.)
You can read other reactions to the pardon below.