US President Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
The president said the widely expected act of clemency was his “Great Honor”.
Mr Flynn was among former aides to President Trump convicted during a justice department investigation into alleged Russian election interference.
He admitted in 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia’s envoy, then tried to withdraw his plea.
The White House said on Wednesday that the pardon would finally end “the relentless, partisan pursuit of an innocent man”.
Its statement described Mr Flynn as “the victim of partisan government officials engaged in a co-ordinated attempt to subvert the election of 2016”.
Flynn’s supporters see him as the victim of a political vendetta by the outgoing Obama administration to de-legitimise the incoming Trump administration with unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion.
A 22-month justice department investigation concluded in 2019 there was no evidence to establish that Mr Trump or any of his associates had conspired with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election.
Trump Pardons Flynn After Pardoning Turkeys:
Donald Trump participated in the annual turkey pardon event in view of Thanksgiving. This was Mr Trump’s first official public appearance after the US presidential elections, Trump was seen in a good mood while pardoning the lives of turkey Corn and its understudy Cob at the White House Rose Garden with about 100 people in the audience.
On behalf of the entire Trump Family, I want to wish every American a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving! Today we gathered in the Rose Garden to continue a beloved annual tradition: the Official Presidential Pardon of a very fortunate Thanksgiving Turkey…. pic.twitter.com/O92pWUKrBv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2020
Although the Trumps usually go on an annual trip to celebrate Thanksgiving, however this time around they chose to stay at the White House to follow the Turkey tradition.
Experts think that this is his way of not acknowledging the election results and making it harder for Biden to have a smooth transition into the White House.