Flynn had only served a little over three weeks as National Security Advisor in 2017. He later admitted in the course of the investigation into possible Russian influence on the US presidential election in 2016 that he had lied to the FBI Federal Police. He is also said to have lied to Vice President Mike Pence on the matter. Flynn was the only one to plead guilty to FBI special investigator Robert Mueller’s investigations.
In January, Flynn applied to withdraw his confession shortly before a verdict was expected in his trial. In May, the Justice Ministry called for an end to the proceedings in a highly unusual step. One was not convinced that the hearing of Flynn in January 2017 was based on a legitimate investigation, it said, among other things. Trump then hailed Flynn as a “hero”.
The case was stuck in a federal court after the controversial advance of the Ministry of Justice. The judge responsible there had not agreed to drop the allegations against Flynn.
Trump has been considering pardoning his confidante for a long time. In March he said he was considering a “full pardon”. In Trump’s view, Flynn has been treated unfairly by the judiciary and the FBI. Trump repeatedly complained that Flynn was being prosecuted by the judiciary. “You accused Flynn of lying and he didn’t lie,” Trump said in an interview around October.
Prior to the November presidential election, the issue of the Flynn legal battle, which Republicans used to incite their grassroots against an alleged establishment conspiracy, had become the subject of discussion. Critics should see Flynn’s pardon as further evidence of their allegation that Trump is using his office to protect friends and partners from prosecution.