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President Trump with Michael Flynn in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a former Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: It is the first of multiple pardons expected in the coming weeks, as Axios scooped Tuesday night.

What they're saying: "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!" Trump tweeted.

  • Roughly an hour before Trump announced the pardon over Twitter, Flynn tweeted a Bible verse.
  • "This pardon is undeserved, unprincipled, and one more stain on President Trump’s rapidly diminishing legacy," House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) responded in a statement on Wednesday.
  • House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote on Twitter: "What happened to @GenFlynn was a national disgrace. ... President @realDonaldTrump is right to pardon the respected three-star general."
  • House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) accused Trump of abusing the pardon power "to reward his friends and political allies" in a statement.

The big picture: Flynn's pardon is the culmination of a four-year political and legal saga that began with the FBI's probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian government in the 2016 election.

Between the lines: In his final weeks in office, Trump has the potential to expunge his friends and supporters of all federal criminal convictions, Axios' Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.

This is a breaking story. Come back for more details.

Go deeper

After impeachment, Trump says he "unequivocally" condemns U.S. Capitol violence

Photo: MANDEL NGAN via Getty

President Trump condemned political violence in a video Wednesday evening exactly one week after a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol in a deadly siege, and hours after the House voted to impeach him for a second time.

Why it matters: The video, posted to the White House's official Twitter account, came as the president faces an impeachment trial in the Senate after 10 Republicans voted with House Democrats for impeachment.

House GOP leader says Trump “bears responsibility,” but won’t vote to impeach

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), while making his case against impeaching President Trump for a second time on Wednesday, noted that Trump "bears responsibility" for a mob of his supporters breaching the U.S. Capitol last week.

Why it matters: The core accusation of House Democrats in their article of impeachment against Trump is that he incited insurrection against the U.S. government by urging his supporters to breach the U.S. Capitol.

Updated Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump becomes first president to be impeached twice

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House voted 232-197 to impeach President Trump for “incitement of insurrection" after a violent pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol last week while Congress met to count the Electoral College vote.

Why it matters: Trump is now the only president in history to have been impeached twice — his first impeachment happened just over a year ago in December of 2019. He has just one week left in his term before President-elect Biden is sworn-in on Jan. 20.