U.S. President Donald Trump said he may pardon his former national-security advisor Michael Flynn, who was among the first individuals swept up in the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016.
“So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has “lost” the records of General Michael Flynn,” Trump said in a tweet. “How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!”
The 61-year-old Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 2017, to lying to the FBI about his communications during the presidential transition period with Sergei Kislyak, who was then Moscow’s ambassador to the United States.
Prosecutors on January 7 called for Flynn to be sentenced to up to six months in prison. It was a reverse of their previous stance that Flynn should receive probation because of his cooperation with investigators in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. election process.
Flynn was a top adviser to the Trump campaign and was hired as the president’s first national security adviser, a powerful White House post. However, he resigned after 24 days when reports of his contacts with Kislyak surfaced.
Trump’s opponents said his sudden announcement of the possible pardon was an attempt to deflect attention from the rapidly spreading coronavirus and criticism of his handling of the pandemic.